A TEENAGER scarred by a birthmark is battling back from being bullied.
Jordan Lough, 13, from Washington, was born with a port wine stain on his left cheek which led to him becoming the victim of bullying and taunts as he grew up.
But the Biddick School pupil is determined to stay strong.
Jordan, from Lambton Village, said: “I’ve lived with this all my life, but I wasn’t fully aware of the birthmark until I was four and got called names at school.
“I’ve always just wanted to be the same as other kids my age. I feel like I’m the only person who looks like I do. There’s no one where I live and no one in my school with a birthmark so I feel like I stand out.”
He added: “When I go on holiday, people stare and ask my mam if I’ve been burnt in the sun. I get sick of people staring at me. I haven’t got two heads. I’ve just got a mark on my face.
“I’m 13 now, so when I get called names it’s hurtful. I get called red beard, birthmark boy or fat lip.”
Jordan has endured laser treatment and injections with an anti-cancer drug in a bid to remove the birthmark. His first treatment was in Leeds when he was two years old and he has also seen specialists in James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough.
He says he is now used to it – even though it can be extremely painful.
“I am determined to keep going so I can say one day it worked and I look like everyone else,” he said.
“My friends accept me and don’t say much about it, except when I get treatment because it then looks black and sore.
“I’m used to going now, even though it’s painful. I know it’s going to be worth it one day. I don’t know if the mark will go away completely. “I just hope it does, then I can just be like everyone else and won’t get stared at or called names anymore.”
Mum Joyce, 45, spoke of her heartache at seeing his “long and hard battle”.
She said: “Jordan used to hate going to hospital. He would cry and say to me, ‘why do you do this me, mam, it’s your fault.’ It broke my heart, especially when he was in pain after the treatment.
“I’m happy he understands now and wants to do it for himself. He said to me he wants to prove to people it will go away.”