Penny Loker is a 31 year old women who was born with hemifacial microsomia and Goldenhar Syndrome.
Even though Penny’s birth defects disfigured her face, she refused to let it affect the person she is on the inside. Penny is beautiful not because of how she looks, but because of who she is. Instead of being negative about her condition, Penny embraced it. Instead of hiding, Penny now seeks to help and encourage other kids exactly like her.
From Penny, may we all learn to see beyond the exterior of a person and instead fall in love with their heart. And may we all develop a beauty in our lives that is beyond skin deep.
As a little girl, she never got a valentine at school parties.
As a teenager, she never had a best friend, a boyfriend or a date.
As a woman, she’s never had a relationship. She’s never been kissed.
Her dream to one day become a wife and mother is fading as she grapples with the reality that it may never happen.
Penny Loker, 31, was born with hemifacial microsomia and Goldenhar Syndrome, two birth defects that left her with a disfigured face. Hemifacial microsomia causes a malformation of the ear and/or the structure of the lower jaw. Goldenhar Syndrome is a congenital condition that produces abnormalities of the head and the bones of the spinal column. It usually affects the appearance of eyes, ears, facial bones and the mouth.
Both conditions are complex, as are their names. But for a little girl facing a big world, the names were simple: Monster. Ugly. Freak.
Loker was raised in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in a home where love and acceptance were given freely.
Her father died soon after Loker’s first birthday. Her mother, a strong, loving woman, readily took on the challenge of raising Loker and her sisters. That included arranging for multiple surgeries at hospitals far from home.
Loker’s recoveries were lengthy and painful, recalls older sister Crystal Loker. “But even then Penny had a positive attitude. She was a trouper who kept her smile and didn’t complain.”