Luna Tavares-Fenner was born with a rare skin condition known as congenital melanocytic nevus in 2019, which caused a large, dark patch to cover most of her face. Her mother, Carol Fenner, was shocked when Luna was born because she did not know that the last ultrasound before birth revealed nothing abnormal. Luna’s doctors later concluded that the birthmark could pose a significant danger to Luna in the future, and there was also the risk of skin cancer, so they recommended several operations.
Carol wanted to remove her daughter’s birthmark, but the cost of at least six surgeries, with each surgery costing around $40,000, was overwhelming. Luna’s family created a fundraiser to help with the costs, and many people donated $70,000 to help the little girl.
After Luna’s story gained international attention, doctors worldwide became aware of her situation, and surgeon-oncologist Dr. Pavel Borisovich Popov from Russia offered to perform a treatment called photodynamic therapy, which was not available in the United States.
Carol and Luna have been traveling to Russia for the past two years to run tests and begin her treatment, and despite the pandemic, the family has been able to travel to the clinic in Krasnodar, where all the operations to date have been successful. Dr. Pavel Borisovich Popov believes that the risk of Luna developing cancer has drastically decreased, but the aesthetic surgeries will be performed later to ensure that Luna will not have any complexes when she comes to the age where she is concerned about her appearance.
Today, Luna is a happy-go-lucky 3-year-old girl from Florida who loves laughing, eating, and bouncing around. After undergoing some high-tech, pioneering surgery, she has been able to remove her famous birthmark. Luna seems so happy, and everyone can see a big difference. Despite the challenges she faced, Luna has a smile for everyone she meets.
Carol wanted to raise awareness about her daughter’s condition, so she created an Instagram page where people could get an insight into the family’s everyday life. Luna’s story has gained international attention, and her determined mother and the brilliant surgeons deserve a big round of applause.