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Living with EB: meet artist Femmy Broer

When I was born in 1990 it was a shock for my mother that I have DDEB, because she was told that she had RDEB and could not pass it on to her children. In 2008 the diagnosis pruriginosa was added. Because of my mother there was enough knowledge about EB and bandaging, which made my childhood a lot easier.

When I was 9 my uncle made a Dutch short film about my life with EB and how it forced me to give up my childhood dream of becoming an acrobat. But because of his film I found a new ambition, film artist.

At 18 I was accepted for the Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam. There I was confronted with the high achievement and time demands that academies have. I could meet their high performance demands, but because of my EB I couldn't keep up with the pace. After half a year I decided to stop, because they refused to give the extra time I needed.

The next year I was accepted for the media department of the HKU (Art Academy Utrecht). They were willing to give me a personalised study schedule, but only after I reached my second year. At the HKU it is mandatory for all their students to get their propaedeutics within the first year, or leave the academy. With a lot of help from friends, family, DEBRA, EB professionals and incredible hard work, I succeeded.

Last year it seemed like one of my biggest dreams would become reality, studying abroad, but instead it became a harsh disappointment. All of the academies that I send my request to declined and told me that they were impressed by my work but were scared to accept me because of the EB.

Now I'm starting graduation and through this experience I found the subject of my graduation project: An international film-project about young adults with EB and the choices they make. What are their dreams and ambitions, which obstacles are in their way and how do they deal with them.

I'm looking for young adults with EB, between 18 and 29 years of age, who are willing to share their stories with me and participate in this project. You can find my art on: www.femmybroer.nl

http://www.femmybroer.nlI'm also starting a Facebook page for my graduation project called 'Let the butterflies fly'. For more information you can contact me at femmybroer(at)gmail.com

Femmy Broer