These documentary styled paintings are all done with the assistance of those portrayed coordinating their own photo shoots and celebrating their vocations or hobbies. Together we work on how the portrait should be handled. Each participant writes his or her own biography and ends it with a positive note for all of us to ponder and live by!  Please view the entire collection at: http://www.facebook.com/ManyFacesNF

Jen Backpacking the Countryside
Kansas City, Missouri ~ 2019
Oil on Canvas
30" x 24"

Jen was diagnosed with NF1 at the age of thirty when her step-mother convinced her to see a dermatologist due to the numerous “bumps” she had on her chest and back. The dermatologist took one look at her and told her she had NF. Jen went to see a neurologist which confirmed the diagnosis of NF and led to another diagnosis. The neurologist sent Jen for multiple MRIs including one of the brain. The MRIs showed multiple tumors down her skull, spine, and tailbone.

Growing up Jen knew she was different from others including her siblings. She remembers going to different classrooms to learn and take tests. She recalls a teacher telling her that college might not be in her future. With determination, perseverance, and strength she went on to college and obtained her bachelor’s degree. Six years later she went back and graduated with her master’s degree in elementary administration, all while learning of her NF diagnosis, and graduated with a 4.0. Jen is an elementary educator and recently started teaching physical education. Her most memorable years of teaching were the two years she taught overseas in Dubai. After learning of her NF diagnosis and having brain surgery to remove the tumor from the pituitary, Jen told herself life is to short and packed 3 suitcases and moved to Dubai for two years.

Jen enjoys traveling, working out, and spending time with her family and friends. She has traveled to over 15 countries and is looking to fill her passport before it expires in the next couple of years. She works out 5 to 6 days a week and considers her gym family as another family that she can lean on for support.

Jen use to be scared to share her story, thinking no one would care. In February 2016, Jen was living in Denver and with the support of her family and friends they did their first Cupid's Undie Run altogether. Currently, Jen is living in Kansas City and is involved with the NF Central Plains chapter. She is looking for more ways to be involved with raising awareness, finding a cure, and the fight against NF.
Oil Portraits NF1 (United States)