Baby Ruby faces seven surgeries to remove hairy birthmark

Ruby "has a cheeky smile and such a happy personality", her aunt says.
Ruby "has a cheeky smile and such a happy personality", her aunt says. Photo: Facebook

A family is fundraising to pay for the removal of a rare birthmark on their daughter's face. 

Ruby Ashby, of Towradji, near Wollongong, was born with congenital melanocytic nevus - a dark, hairy birthmark or mole covering the right side of her face.

The 7-month-old will undergo the first of approximately seven surgeries to remove the mole on January 12. 

Ruby was born with congenital melanocytic nevus.
Ruby was born with congenital melanocytic nevus. Photo: GoFundMe

On a GoFundMe page set up by Ruby's aunt to fundraise for the private operation, parents Natalie and Ben Ashby explain: "There is a 1 in 500,000 chance to be born with it but this doesn't mean she needs to live with it! 

"Ruby will need to undergo about 7 operations to remove it before she starts school. The first operation alone is going to cost $10,000 and at this stage Ruby will have to undergo 4 operations this year alone which in total be $40,000.

"Ruby is like any normal 7 month old, she has a cheeky smile and such a happy personality with a contagious laugh and has been so lucky to be brought into a family who love her unconditionally."

The page has already raised almost $15,000 in eight days, with just $3000 remaining before they family reaches their first goal.

The Ashbys have said they did not want Ruby to be bullied at school or have to worry about the mole. 

"I hate when people say it's not a necessity and I think for her it is," Natalie told Mamamia.

"I spoke to a man in his 20s who had had one removed when he was a boy and he said it was the best thing his parents could have done.

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"We've done our research, we're not taking this on lightly. We think it is the best thing for her."

Ruby's first surgery will involve a silicone balloon being inserted under her facial skin, which will be gradually inflated to stretch the skin so doctors will have enough to replace the mole-covered area.

This process might need to be repeated three or four times.

To remove the mole from Ruby's eye area, surgeons will need to take a skin graft using the skin behind her ear.

The process could involve seven surgeries over four years.

Stuff.co.nz