New Zealand teenager Aiesha Ross was born with a rare condition called an imperforate anus.
In short, the spinal nerves that are used to control bowel movements and bladder function have been badly damaged, making the 14-year-old hospital bound for much of her life.
Aiesha, who is part of a large family with many brothers and sisters, transferred schools and decided to start things off on the right foot.
She delivered this passionate plea to her classmates, which has been recorded and posted to YouTube.
Titled “The new normal,” the video finds the courageous teenager being blunt about her medical condition:
“Teenagers need to feel normal. What does normal mean? Who is normal?
Being normal is doing things everyone else does – normal things like going on sleepovers, going on camps, going on trips and going swimming are easy things for you to do but not so easy for me.
See, I have to take cautions for everything and at our age wearing a bikini is normal, going to sleepovers is normal, to not have to live life wondering whether you will have a husband is normal.”
Ross was born with only one kidney and no vaginal pouch, which means she cannot have children.
She became emotional as she read the pre-written speech:
“I can’t go to sleepovers because I’m not normal.
I’m always wondering if I’ll even have a husband or children when I’m older, because I’m not normal.
I’m in and out of hospital because I’m not normal.”
She began crying at one point.
However, Aiesha Ross knew where to place a well-timed joke:
“Sometimes I do think people would probably be better off without me, because no one would have to deal with my problems and issues.
But if I have to put up with myself every day, then so do you.”
She discussed the bullying she faces on a continual basis, but was careful to urge listeners not to pity her.
— Just E Stuff (@Justestuff) October 25, 2015
After all, dealing with her particular set of issues has made her strong:
“I’m bullied on a daily basis. I’m called disgusting, weird and ugly.
Please don’t take pity on me or treat me differently, because I am not different – I am unique.
Please take a stand, and make a new normal.”
Her mother, Louise Elliott, spoke to a New Zealand television program calledSeven Sharp.
The pure love she has for her amazing daughter was on full display:
“My heart is just bursting with pride for her,” she said.
The video has been gaining steam on the Internet, racking up thousands of views.