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Children show off their surgery scars in inspiring photo series

by A. Pawlowski / / Source: TODAY

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Every scar tells a story.

For children who find out all too early about how fragile the human body is, the slowly-fading reminder of surgery can be healing and empowering.

kids show off scars photo series
The new photo series of children showing off their surgery scars hopes to inspire others to feel proud about their own so-called imperfections. Mason underwent surgery for heterotaxy syndrome, a condition in which the internal organs are abnormally arranged in the chest and abdomen.Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

It doesn’t matter whether they’re wearing a cast for the first time or sporting a mark that spans the length of their chest, kids have a refreshing relationship with their scars, said Meg Flynn, social media manager for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

kids show off their scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

“Whereas adults often go to great lengths to hide what they perceive as imperfections, the kids in our care… often derive great pride in explaining the origin of their battle wounds,” Flynn told TODAY.

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kids show off scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta recently partnered with Kate T. Parker — the photographer behind the “Strong is the New Pretty” photo series — to celebrate the strength of the kids who walk through the hospital’s doors.

Related: Photographer teaches daughters: "Strong is the New Pretty"

kids show off scars in hospital photos
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

The result is a moving collection of photos showing children thriving after open heart surgery, cancer, broken bones and more.

Related: Dogs with special needs help kids heal in physical therapy

kids show off scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

“We saw first-hand the benefits afforded to the subjects on the other side of Kate’s lens,” Flynn said.

“They felt special. They felt empowered. Along the way, they also came to better understand their ability to inspire others, including many people they will never meet.”

Check out more inspiring photos from the series below:

kids show off scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
kids show off scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
kids show off scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
kids show off scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
kids show off scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
kids show off scars in photo series
Kate T. Parker/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

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