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Man Born With Rare Condition Forced To Choose Between His Voice Or Face

Man Born With Rare Condition Forced To Choose Between His Voice Or Face

'I don't care about cosmetics so much as I did the voice.'

A man with a rare condition that causes growths has revealed how he was forced to choose between his voice or his face. 

Zackery Brown spoke to truly about having cystic hygromas, which are fluid-filled cysts that tend to appear on a person’s neck or head. 

‘The new name for it is lymphatic malformation,’ he explained to the outlet, adding that it’s a genetic disorder. ‘It’s basically non-cancer tumours that are located… it can be in the neck, in the face or in the tongue.’

Zackery Brown (@brown_zackery/Instagram)
Zackery Brown (@brown_zackery/Instagram)

The 28-year-old from Tennessee is now comfortable in himself, having overcome confidence issues that he suffered growing up. 

‘Growing up my parents sheltered me a lot from the outside world, they were afraid of me getting bullied,’ he said. ‘I did have some bad incidents, like, one time I was in the library and there was a guy in there that went crazy.

'He was afraid I had something that he could catch. He was panicked and caused a big scene and it was horrible.’

Zackery explained that he didn’t socialise with other kids, and turned to gaming as a way to conceal how he looked. 

However, when his dad became sick from radiation damage, which left him unable to drive or walk around the house, Zackery stepped in to take care of him. 

Taking care of him for five years, he realised he was gaming too often and so he decided to turn his life around.

'I started looking for work, and then when I started looking for work that's how I met more people and everything kind of fell into place,' he said. 'I worked two jobs: one as a free loader and the other as a delivery service part-time. 

'I had a $5,000 gaming set up, like, expensive, expensive gaming equipment and I sold all of it. I was like, I'm done with it, I'm calling cold turkey on the whole thing so I sold everything and I only had a handheld device. Now I have nothing.'

Zackery Brown (@brown_zackery/Instagram)
Zackery Brown (@brown_zackery/Instagram)

Zackery also started going to the gym and working out, all of which have helped contribute to banishing feelings of self-doubt. 

There was a time when he considered having surgery, explaining it was ‘mainly for the voice’. 

‘I sat down in the doctors office and I told him, I said, "If you can give me a choice between cosmetic looks or the voice, I would choose the voice,"' he said. 'I don't care about cosmetics so much as I did the voice. 

'I went thinking that it could make my voice better but they told me it would make it worse. I had to choose between my face, and keeping my voice. 

'[The doctors] were like, "We hate to tell you this but if we operate on the tongue it's going to make your voice worse. You're going to have scar tissue." They said, "Cosmetic wise, if we operate on the jaw, it can force your tongue back more so that would hinder your voice more."

'And I said, "No, I'm good." So I didn't pursue that anymore. I decided to do the work and be happy with how I am.'

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Featured Image Credit: Zackery Brown/Instagram

Topics: Life