Family’s New Book Raises Awareness for Birthmarks
Moles, freckles, spots, stains, scars. They’re all birthmarks that define us as individuals. Like stars in the sky, these unique characteristics should elevate us and reflect self-love through celebration of beauty, resilience and diversity.
That’s the message behind “Beauty With a Birthmark,” co-authored by EHHS alumnus Erica Maxwell and her teenage daughter, Jessica Alexander.
To raise awareness for birthmarks, also known as a vascular anomaly, this mother/daughter duo read from their newly published book to dozens of schoolchildren gathered in the classrooms at the Child Development Center on the Kent Campus.
“I had this birthmark since I was 4, and as I grew older and older it stayed with me,” said Jessica, responding to a child who asked how she got her birthmark. “I didn’t choose it, it chose me.”
A dermatologist determined that Jessica’s birthmark was a condition called nevus of Ota, a hyperpigmentation that occurs on the face, mostly appearing on the white of the eye, which explains the two spots on Jessica’s right eye.
The book uses rhymes to build coping mechanisms and self-esteem for children learning to fully embrace themselves and accept their unique characteristics.
Erica and Jessica are available for book signings, speaking engagements and other events. Books may be purchased at the book signing, or through the website, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and Barnes and Noble.