A young woman driven to anorexia by bullies who mocked her disability is fighting back.
Bobbie Lafferty, 21, from Ardler, was diagnosed with an overgrowth syndrome when she was only five months old.
It has affected her all her life, resulting in her being bullied at school.
Now, however, she has taken the brave decision to speak about her life in a bid to inspire and encourage others “to be the best they can be”.
Bobbie wants to show that if she has managed to overcome the bullies then others can too.
Bobbie has Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, which is characterised by an increased risk of childhood cancer and certain congenital features.
For Bobbie, it has affected the whole of her right-hand side, causing her limbs to grow quicker than the rest of her body and it has also affected her tongue. In addition, it has caused all the organs on the right-hand side of her body to be enlarged.
Bobbie’s right leg has grown 4cm longer than her left one, resulting in a limp.
She has had to endure 17 operations on her right leg, which is now only 1.5cm longer, and has spent most of her life wearing a plaster cast.
She also missed a lot of school.
Bobbie, who went to Menzieshill High, said: “The bullying was brutal and made my life hell.
“It wasn’t so much the kids in my own class but older pupils who were horrible.
“I used to get called all sorts of terrible names and they were always making my life as difficult as possible.
“At around the age of 15 I ended up very depressed and on anti-depressants.
“Things got worse and worse and I ended up anorexic.
“At one point I weighed only five stone and was very unwell.
“I didn’t realise at the time how bad it had got but my mum was very aware of how badly I was affected.”
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Bobbie’s mum, Cindy Marshall, 47, said: “It was awful to watch Bobbie suffering, not only with her condition but also because of the bullies who made her life awful.
“She became really upset and depressed and then I was accused of being an over-protective mum.
“It got so bad that Bobbie decided to leave school at 15 because she couldn’t take any more.”
However, Bobbie decided to take control and went on to do work experience with other disabled youngsters.
She said: “That gave me the inspiration and confidence to go to college to do a social care course.
“I gained an HNC and am now at Dundee University training to be a mental health nurse.
“I’m loving life and coping with my illness while studying to help others.
“I see this as thumbing my nose to the bullies but I also want my story to show others that they should never give in to bullying.
“I’ve been able to move on and I want others to learn never to give up and to chase their dreams no matter what.”