My name is Jimena Mina. I am originally from Colombia. I spent the first 13 years of my life living in San Antonio Rio Yurumangu, Colombia, a rural area of the Buenaventura district near the Pacific Ocean. I currently live in the city of Cali, Colombia. I am now 27 years old. In 2013, I was diagnosed with Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP).

Day to day living is very difficult because of the XP. The
sun hurts me a lot. I am very thin and I do not gain
weight easily. My height is 4 feet 11 inches. Recently, a
doctor found a suspicious wart on my nose, and another spot could be seen on my knee, and a then a tumor was discovered in my left eye. They were biopsied and, thankfully, the result was not cancer. With every passing day, my skin deteriorates. I used to spend a lot of time in the sun but that was before I knew I had XP and it could give me cancer if I did not take care of myself. I am always hiding from the sun. Even a little wind irritates my skin because it is extremely dry. I used to go out in the sun without an umbrella, without a hat and without sun-protective clothing. My skin was peeling, scaly, and burning. It became very dark with black and white freckles. My eyes were swollen. I could no longer tolerate the light from a bulb. When I tried to open my eyes, they would tear up and hurt. I used to spend weeks locked in my room, aching, sore, and unable to see.

I now know how to take care of my skin. But I do not know enough. I need help to learn how to protect and care for my skin.

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