Video of woman posted on TikTok mocks her appearance; alleges she has monkeypox
A video posted of a Brooklyn woman on TikTok mocks her appearance and alleges that she has monkeypox. But Lilly Simon actually lives with a completely different chronic condition.
Simon spent last Sunday crafting a response to a video somebody else took of her on the train while a bystander was recording her, and later posted on TikTok to suggest she had the virus.
"The rest of the comments were, ‘We have to get out of the city, monkeypox, she's dirty, why's she on the train?’" Simon said.
She lives with neurofibromatosis type 1 which creates benign tumors beneath the skin.
The condition is caused by mutations in the nf1 gene, meaning it's not contagious.
Jameela J. Yusuff, Chief Medical Officer of University Hospital at Downstate explains that the disease is not like monkeypox at all.
"It does not predispose anyone to any type of infection and even with monkeypox the lesions are not always on the face, not always as visible. And monkeypox lesions tend to be more tender."
The original video posted of Simon has since been deleted and the account can't be found.
"I never could predict this kind of outcome, this kind of support," Simon said.
Though, as Simon puts it, this experience reminds her of the days she couldn't defend herself against bullies. But she says now is a time where she can stand up for all.
"The adult you are is who you would have felt safe with as a kid and that kind of hits hard. And I kind of wish I did know someone who would have done what I did,” Simon said.