I have witnessed a miracle, her name: Lupita

Lupita Juvera is a really good friend of mine and through her I have witnessed, not only one, but hundreds of miracles. She was born with an hemangioma that covered half of the left side of her face. An hemangioma is basically a red/purple-ish birthmark that is caused by an excess of red blood cells. The birthmark went from the bottom of her left ear to the end of the right side of her lip. Along with the birthmark she had excessive irrigation of blood on her bottom lip that caused it to grow about double the size of a normal lip.

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Lupita at the beginning of her Fresh Start treatment in 2000

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Lupita Now

Lupita grew up in Celaya, Guanajuato, a small city in Central Mexico and she had been receiving laser treatments since she was very young to try and get rid of the birthmark. I had the pleasure of knowing her when she was about 13 years old, and I think you might find captivating that in the 12+ years that I have known her I have ALWAYS seen her smiling, joyful, and with a positivism that most of us envy and wish we had half of the time.

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Lupita as a kid with make up on the hemangioma

I met Lupita by what I call a miraculous accident, allow me to explain: the treatments that she had been receiving had been unsuccessful, in fact, one of them even burnt her face causing her to have second degree burns. Lupita’s mother happens to be my aunt’s best friend and in an effort to help out, my aunt and my grandmother contacted a non profit organization to see if they could help Lupita out: Fresh Start.

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Lupita and I

Fresh Start was founded in 1991 by the late Dr. Dennis Nigro. Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is one of the most dedicated charities for children. They transform the lives of disadvantaged infants, children, and teens suffering from physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related healthcare services. Fresh Start has transformed the lives of over 5,900 children.

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The late Dr. Dennis Nigro, founder of Fresh Start, with a patient

Fresh Start and Dr. Nigro have been a miracle in Lupita’s life. Over the course of 12 years I have been a front row witness of the miracles that Fresh Start, in the hands of Dr. Nigro and Dr. Amanda Gosman, has shined upon Lupita’s life and inevitably, in everyone who has had the opportunity to be a part of Lupita’s transformation.

Lupita has gone through over 15 surgeries that include the implantation of expanders that stretched the skin on her neck enough to replace the skin with the hemangioma, laser treatments to reduce the coloring of the birthmark, and lip injections to reduce its size. What is most admiring to me is that every single time Lupita has received any treatment, regardless of the physical pain, she has always left the room with a smile on her face and thanking every single person involved for what they are doing for her.

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Lupita swimming with dolphins

How much more inspiring can someone be? I can’t really find words to describe the lessons that I have learned from Lupita’s courage, humility, positivism, and joyful way of living. Lupita, has this energy about her that is simply contagious and being around her brings you so much courage that you almost never want her to leave. She is, possibly the happiest person I know and she has been this way ever since I can remember. The work that Fresh Start has done on Lupita has not changed her essence, it has only given Lupita an opportunity to show people how beautiful she is inside and out.

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Professional Picture

Lupita might just be the most beautiful human being I know, and I know with absolute certainty that she has changed more lives than she could ever imagine. I have seen her influence on people’s lives over the course of 12 years and there’s no doubt she has changed more than just my life.

I have witnessed a miracle, her name: Lupita Juvera.

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Lupita and her Mother