Isa-Bella Leclair, a 19-year-old girl from Canada, was born with a rare genetic condition called Parkes Weber Syndrome, a disorder of the vascular system, which is the body’s complex network of blood vessels. Due to this condition, the teen’s right leg grew to twice its normal size, and it weighs around 40lbs (18kg).
Even though she is unable to wear tight-fitting jeans or participate in a number of physical activities, Leclair has decided to show her body confidence and challenge modern beauty standards. The college student won a title in a beauty pageant in Campbellton, New Brunswick – her hometown – last month, and she is hoping to raise awareness about her condition.
Leclair says that her condition does not define her, and she is not letting it stop her from wearing a nice dress or a swimsuit. The teen explains that confidence is the most important part for her, because people will have admiration for someone who is confident in their body, even with a disability.
Because she was born with the malformation, the 19-year-old had to get used to people staring and asking her questions. She notes that she had to grow up faster than other kids, and that it was normal for people to be curious. Growing up, Isa-Bella enjoyed baton twirling and snowboarding, and her mom says that she never came back home from school crying.
When it comes to her future, there is hope for the management of her condition. Isa-Bella underwent a three-week course of lymph draining massages, and the treatment has given promising results: she lost six centimeters from around her leg and eight pounds in weight. The brave teen is looking forward to the future, and is hoping to inspire others with her confidence.