As young women, we obsessively worry about our body image and conforming to unrealistic body ideals. But for one 22 year old - and the handful of others who suffer from the same condition - that lack of self-confidence is an extra struggle. Kaylee Moats was born without a vagina, vaginal opening, cervix and uterus, meaning she'll never be able to carry her own children.
She received the diagnosis, medically-termed Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser, aged 18 after she never had a period. She sought medical advice and was given an MRI which confirmed her worst fears. The condition effects 1 in 5,000 newborn girls and causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or completely absent, according to the National Institutes of Health but little is known about its specific cause. Kaylee's condition means she'll never be able to carry her own children and has unsurprisingly altered the way she feels about her body, especially as she's unable to be intimate with her boyfriend.
Her sister Amanda has come to her rescue by setting up a GoFundMe page in her honour in order to raise the $15,000 (approximately £1676) needed for life-changing reconstructive surgery which will give Kaylee a vaginal opening and the ability to have sex for the first time.
Writing on the fundraising page, Amanda said: "The dreams we had of raising families together are going to look a little different than we had initially planned. This diagnosis raises a lot of fears, concerns, and insecurities in Kaylee about her identity and her future. The options of surrogacy and adoption give her some hope but she will never be able to carry her own children."
Adding of the importance of the surgery, she wrote: "It would give back a part of her that has been missing since birth and dramatically improve her quality of life. The surgery lasts 1-2 hrs and has a 96% success rate. As you can imagine, the whole family was very excited about this and Kaylee was ready to pursue the surgery."
Amanda has so far raised $10,510 of the target at the time of writing and says the family "will be forever grateful" for every donation, no matter how small.
To donate to Kallee's cause, visit her GoFundMe page here
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