Model: Kamryn Dehn
Severe hip dysplasia and Perthes disease
Frankfort, Indiana

My name is Kamryn Dehn and I’m from Frankfort, Indiana. I’m currently at the University of Miami pursuing a master’s degree in marine mammal science. When I was a baby, I was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia and Perthes disease, and combined, that essentially meant my hip did not receive enough blood flow and was necrotic and malformed. One hip also sits higher than the other and my right leg is shorter than my left. All together, this has led to orthopedic pain and complications for most of my life.

I underwent several surgeries as a child to correct my hip and was told I would grow normally with some restrictions on weight-bearing activities like running. However, I started experiencing severe leg pain in high school that progressively got worse until I needed a femoral osteotomy and other hip preserving surgeries when I was 20. Within a span of a few years, I went from a year-round athlete to someone who struggled to walk. Fortunately, these surgeries have taken away most of my pain and restored a lot of my mobility. Prior to the leg reconstruction surgery, I reached a point where I could barely walk more than 15-20 minutes at a time because the pain was so great.

The picture of me holding my dress up to show off one of my scars is probably my favorite from the entire shoot. Throughout most of my adult life, I’ve struggled to feel beautiful and comfortable in my own skin, especially with how many changes my body has gone through in such a short period of time. However, this photo makes me feel incredibly beautiful and I love that my reconstruction scar is on full display. This picture reminds me that my disability and scars don’t take away from my beauty and are a sign of strength. What I want people to take away from this photo is that you shouldn’t be ashamed of your scars and rather than hide your imperfections, you should embrace them.


Photographer: Adriana Novello