Wednesday, August 12, 2009


James O'Neal compares himself to the 'Elephant Man'......Neurofibromatosis, has deformed his face, but this mans heart and soul are perfectly in tact. NF commonly mistaken for 'The Elephant Man Disease' affects 1 in 3000 people world wide.
People affected by this condition develop non-cancerous tumors along their nerves. The tumors are called neurofibromas. They are a mass of different types of cells that grow on and surround nerves.
Neurofibromatosis can also cause skin discolorations (also called "café au lait" spots) and bone abnormalities. Men, women, and people of all racial backgrounds may develop the condition.
"I just tell people this is who I am, it's the way I am. If you don't like me, you don't like me," he said. While some may stare, laugh and point their fingers....James faces life with bravery. James sees hundreds of people a day, during his job as a cashier at Safeway. He is not hiding. He is sharing his spirit with everyone that comes into contact with him.
I love seeing this kind of story....His customers like him so much, that they started a fund raising website, to help James raise the money, for his surgery. His employer even donated the first 10,000. It's plain to see James has truly made his mark. He is an inspiration to so many!!
I am in love with James' THRIVING with NF. He teaches all a lesson. When I asked my 8 yr old daughter what she thought of James' picture...her responce was as innocent as it gets...."I bet, if I were to meet him, he would be a very nice man." I sure wish we could all view life, looking beyond physical appearances.
Way to go James!!


  1. what an amazing man ...I so have nothing to complain about but *sigh* I worry for my little boy !
    Thank you for sharing

  2. Glad my facial plexiform did not get that bad, mine is under the skin on my forehead his seems to be ON his skin. I am also missing an eye but have a darn good prothesis, to the blog writer if you can contact this man tell him of an ocularist in Los Angeles last named Hadad he did my eye and insurance paid for it. As for a plastic surgeon well one in LA did me in the past that doctors last name was Tong in west LA Kaiser

  3. Going back on ocualrist avoid someone who's last name was Kennedy in a opthomalagist ofice in down town Long beach. He did a terrible job on the prothesis and charges 75 dollars an eye clean.

  4. State Representative Bebeto - Bebeto - Official - Rio de Janeiro/Brazil
    I share with all the little note that came out in the newspaper "Extra", talking about the approval of my bill at second discussion in Alerj, which states that people with neurofibromatosis have the same rights as other people with disabilities. Now we need the sanction of the governor to become law.
    As you know, the Neurofibromatosis is a disease of the nervous tissue that causes spots on the skin and can cause blindness, affecting the spine, among other things.
    More details can be found on the website of Alerj:
    Image: Journal Extra / Playback