Yesterday Neurofibromatosis was featured on a top talk show that reaches millions of viewers, worldwide. Oprah has never been a favorite of mine. I feel she selects stories more to gain popularity than to spread awareness.
Mentioning "The Elephant Man Disease" and Neurofibromatosis, is not only "Offensive" IT'S WRONG!
If had never heard of Neurofibromatosis before, and sat and watched Oprah's show, I would be led to believe 1) That ALL people with NF look the way Ana does (bless her heart) 2) NF is only diagnosed through a genetic connection and 3) NF is related to the "Elephant Man Disease"
If someone -- especially someone as well known as Oprah is going to cover "Living with Neurofibromatosis", what they really need to do is get a variety of guests and disclose the true facts of life with NF.
Hey Oprah, did you know that half of the 100,000 people living in JUST the USA with Neurofibromatosis, got diagnosed through a "Spontaneous Mutation"?
Did you also know that Neurofibromatosis is HIGHLY variable, affecting those diagnosed in MANY ways. With some people, you would never know they have NF, others are affected like the young woman on your show....with many many in between.
Lastly, Joseph Merrick had Proteus Syndrome, deforming and twisting his body, making him know as 'The Elephant Man'. If you and your producers had done proper research, you would have learned, just by 'googling' Neurofibromatosis, that it is NOT that same condition Joseph suffered from.
There is so much more the media can do to help spread the word and educate the world. I find it sad when NF families reach out to the media, only to have no response, because their case won't raise the ratings. But what the media fails to realize, is that, if they did a show, showing everyday NF families, it would not only boost awareness, it would in fact be a highly rated topic!