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Staff Spotlights: Sergio Zarate

When I had originally applied for the Picking Me Foundation, I actually had no idea what it was all about if I am being completely honest. I had originally applied blindly online and received an email asking for an interview and I accepted because I needed an internship.

However, when I arrived, I instantly knew that it was for me. As a child I grew up with aggressive eczema and had lived very ashamed of it. I would itch and scratch and it would cause scabs across my body that I would try to hide from people. But they still saw the scabs and would point it out causing me more shame. I had no idea why I had this or even how to stop it. I did learn to take care of my skin a bit better but mentally I still was in the same place. I would be ashamed when friends and partners would ask about it and would even lie about it to mask my shame.

Then I met Lauren. I heard her story and saw myself in her shoes and I understood what she felt and what she had gone through. What stuck with most though was that she persisted in spite of it and created a whole organization dedicated to helping others physically and mentally. At that point, I knew I wanted to become a part of this to not only help myself and help others but to help someone who has truly inspired me.

For more information on dermatillomania, click here.