When Dawn was born she could barely breathe. A rare, fast-growing tumor, called a teratoma, was interfering with her wind pipe, and she was rushed off for an immediate tracheostomy. The eventual complete removal of the teratoma permanently altered the left side of her face, leaving her with misaligned jaws, hearing loss and paralysis.
But that hasn’t stopped her from living a fulfilling life and creating confidence in others. She credits her parents for taking her out into the world, exposing her to many places and people, rather than hiding her away. She came to not only learn to live with the stares and taunts of others, but to recognize her value as a human being. She also came to understand that the choices she made about how to live with her facial difference impacted her outlook on life.
Aside from her three books, which you can find on her book page, She hosted an online series called “Friending the Mirror,” which addressed appearance-related issues and insecurities with the goal of educating people about differences. A list of archived episodes can be found on her webinar page. She has also appeared on international television in an episode of Body Bizarre on the Discovery Life channel.
Dawn is married to Ian Shaw, and they live on a small farm in western Washington state where Dawn raises Icelandic horses. She and Ian share a passion for live music, supporting numerous independent bands and artists.