Woman With Skin-Shedding Disease Runs Camp for People With Skin Deformities

A woman with a rare disease that caused her to shed most of her skin in her youth now runs a camp and a nonprofit foundation to help children with severe skin problems, USA Today reports.

Francesca Tenconi, 24, was diagnosed at age 11 with pemphigus foliaceous, a potentially fatal skin condition that once caused her to lose 85 percent of her skin, according to the report.

As a child and teenager, Tenconi underwent four years of treatment during which her skin completely grew back. The disease is now in remission, the report said.

Tenconi started a foundation at her camp, Camp Wonder, in Livermore, Calif., to help other children combat the loneliness she felt while struggling with her skin disease.

"It's hard to deal with because it's so visual," she told USA Today. "Kids at a toy store would look at me and question. It's something that's very, very difficult to deal with."

The camp is in its eighth year and Tenconi's foundation provides the full $1,500 tuition for each child who attends. About 50 medical professionals volunteer each summer to keep campers safe, it is reported. She hopes to open a similar camp on the East Coast.

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