Why This Woman's Epic Bikini Selfie Matters

It’s not summer yet, but it’s never too early for a bikini selfie — especially the one below.

Morgan McCastor, 21, lives with 15 diseases including mitochondrial disease, dysautonomia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), scoliosis, arthritis, asthma and periodic limb movement disorder. She’s also currently being tested for Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory condition that affects her gastrointestinal tract. All of this requires her to wear a port for saline and IVIG transfusions and a J-tube for tube feeds so she can get proper nutrition.

Usually, these tubes embarrass her — but in early February she decided enough was enough. It was time to show her body off, differences and all.

Morgan bikini selfie

Along with the picture above, posted to McCastor’s Facebook page, “Morgan’s Medical Journal,” she wrote:

Went to the hot tub at the hotel tonight. Normally don’t post pictures of my body because sometimes I’m embarrassed of the tubes, but I decided to say screw it and be proud of my body the way it is. If you can’t deal with a couple tubes that help keep me alive, I don’t need you in my life anyways. Never be ashamed of who you are. Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

In just 24 hours, the picture garnered more than 500 likes and 100 comments.

“I wasn’t expecting that at all but was extremely and pleasantly surprised,” McCastor told The Mighty. “I feel honored when people call me inspiring.”

The 21-year-old from Syracuse, New York, hopes her selfie will help other young people struggling with their differences.

“Don’t let what anyone else thinks influence how you feel about your own image,” McCastor told The Mighty. “Everyone is beautiful in their own way. People like us just have a few extra things that make us beautiful.”

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mitochondrial Disease

Why My Son Refuses to Say, ‘Goodnight’

Every night since our son found the ability to speak to us, he’s refused to let us leave his room with “Goodnight, see you tomorrow.” He swiftly shouts back in his small, sweet voice, “No goodnight, not tomorrow.” Though to most it would seem like a defiant move — one to reject the idea of [...]

Comedian Makes Hilarious Return to Stand-up Comedy After Leg Amputation

This is a man who knows the value in being able to laugh at yourself. Colin Leggo, a comedian from Cornwall, England, lost his leg to diabetes in 2014, The Falmouth Packet reported. After three months of recovering, Leggo recently made a hilarious comeback to stand-up comedy. His routine includes light-heartedly poking fun at his [...]

My Best Friend’s Final Moments Showed Exactly the Type of Man He Was

“The future lies sparkling ahead… and we thought we’d know each other forever.” — Sleepers (1996) Of all my friends, Adam Wight always reminded me most of my mom. He was almost a foot and a half taller than her and probably weighed twice as much, but there was something about his personality and the conversations [...]

24 Things Special Needs Parents Know About Their Children’s Hospital

1) You know where the nearest children’s hospital is no matter where you are in your state, country or continent. 2) You know exactly how many gallons of gas it takes to get to your hospital. 3) You know which gas stations on the way to your hospital are safe for potty breaks, diaper changes, [...]