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Why This Woman's Epic Bikini Selfie Matters

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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.”

Originally published: February 18, 2015
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