'Batman' birthmark baby needs $133,000 for surgery

Photo: luna.love.hope / Instagram
Photo: luna.love.hope / Instagram 

Seven-month-old Luna Tavares Fenner was born with a rare condition which affects just one per cent of the population. She will soon receive groundbreaking treatment in Russia that could help her avoid a lifetime of increased cancer risk from the condition.

The US tot has a large black mark dubbed a 'Batman mask' - which is the result of a condition called congenital melanocytic nevus - covering a large portion of her face.

It places her at increased risk of developing aggressive melanoma. Neither doctors nor her parents were aware she had it until she was born as it was not detected by ultrasound.

The condition affects around, "one in 20,000 newborns in some form and as few as one in 500,000 in its most severe form," according to Nevus Support Australia, which also lists side effects such as overheating, dryness and skin fragility.

The organisation also details the psychological distress people with the condition can suffer from bullying and negative reactions to their appearance.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 🥰 Luna Tavares Fenner 🥰 (@luna.love.hope) on

Luna's parents Thiago Tavares, 32, and Carolina Fenner, 35, tried to find a treatment within the US that could help their daughter, but only found doctors who would try laser treatment which has varying outcomes for this condition and would take up to four years to complete.

"The doctors in the US kept giving me different advice, I felt so lost, and didn't know what to do," said Fenner.

Then came a beacon of hope for the family.

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Dr Pavel Borisovich Popov - a surgeon-oncologist in Krasnodar, Russia - saw Luna's plight in a local paper and contacted her parents saying he could help.

He proposed a schedule of six to eight surgeries over 18 months, at a cost of $37,000 per surgery. The couple hopes to raise $133,000 through fundraising. So far they have raised $53,000.

"We went to a lot of doctors before here in the US. We went to Chicago, Boston, New York, and I didn't like the results and the doctors in Russia have shown me very good results like the before and after pictures, so we're going to try it," Fenner told InsideEdition, adding that there was no question they would try to have it removed.

"We're going to remove it. That can turn to cancer, also because of the bullying and stuff we are going through when we go out, people saying bad things about it," she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 🥰 Luna Tavares Fenner 🥰 (@luna.love.hope) on

"It will be a huge relief if it works for Luna," Fenner told SWNS, adding that she hopes the surgeries will be complete well before her daughter starts school.

Luna has been on the receiving end of unkind comments already.

"I don't want her to get bullied. People ask if it's contagious and say really mean things," she said. "One time we were at church, and a girl sitting next to us said to her mother, 'Wow, look at her. What a monster.'"

Fenner says she has learned to deal with it by educating others.

"Now, I answer with the education I have regarding the condition. Sometimes I still get mad."

"I will teach her how to deal with some bad comments and bad people," she explained. "She is really strong. I need to prepare her."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 🥰 Luna Tavares Fenner 🥰 (@luna.love.hope) on