A 7-month-old girl in Australia is set to undergo skin surgery in order to remove a large, hairy birthmark covering the upper left portion of her face.
The newborn girl named Ruby Ashby is one in 500,000 children born with Congenital Melanocytic Nevus. Ruby will need seven operations before the birthmark can fully be removed, just in time for her to start school.
The first operation alone costs $10,000, and it is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2016, News 7 Nigeria reports.
“We wouldn’t change her but it is important to have it removed before she starts school,” Ruby’s mom, Natalie, told Daily Mail Australia, according to News 7 Nigeria.
“She was born with it but it doesn’t mean she has to live with it," she added.
The operation involves inserting a silicone balloon under Ruby’s skin. The balloon will then be inflated with saline over the course of a few weeks.
Following the operation, the birthmark will slowly be replaced with the excess skin gained during the first procedure. This process may need to be repeated three or four times, according to Mama Mia. A skin graft will also have to be taken in order for doctors to remove the mole from Ruby's eye area. Once Ruby turns 8, she’ll also need an eyebrow transplant for her right brow, since it is expected to be removed during the surgeries, News 7 Nigeria notes.
The Ashby family has started a GoFundMe account and hopes to raise $30,000 towards Ruby’s surgery. As of Dec. 29, over $17,000 has been donated.
“It was set up for people who couldn’t attend our fundraising night but still wanted to donate, but people have been sharing it on Facebook,” Natalie said. “We have received donations from people we don’t know and a few anonymous ones too.”
Natalie noted that the support for Ruby’s operation has been pleasantly overwhelming.