Suffolk girl's mission to raise awareness of rare birthmark condition

- Watch a full report from ITV News Anglia's Rob Setchell.

Rosabella Harrison is an energetic eight-year-old. She loves horse-riding and playing with her friends. Her mum describes her as a "sassy little diva".

But the first thing many people notice about her - before witnessing that vibrant personality - is the birthmark that covers almost half of her face.

Rosabella, from Beccles in Suffolk, was born with Congenital Melanocytic Naevi (CMN) - a rare condition which can lead to birthmarks which cover up to 80 per cent of the body.

"I think Rosabella forgets she's got it most of the time," said mum Chantelle. "She really isn't that bothered by it."

Rosabella shows off her picture to her class at St Felix School near Southwold. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"She's quite happy to tell people it's her birthmark. It was always known as a princess mark when she was younger - maybe we're a bit old for that now.

"Her attitude is: 'Yes, OK it's a birthmark - ask the questions and then let's move on.'"

Last year, Rosabella featured in an exhibition called 'How Do You C Me Now?'

It was made up of 30 portraits, taken by world-renowned photographer Brock Elbank, of people from around the world who have the condition.

Caring Matters Now, the charity which organised it, said the response was so "overwhelming" that they decided to turn the images into a book which launches tomorrow (Sept 25th).

They say it will "celebrate diversity" and be used as a teaching aid to "help address issues around visible differences".  

Rosabella, who is now fundraising for the charity with her family, said: "It was really fun meeting other people that had the same condition as me.

The schoolgirl's condition is monitored through regular check-ups but her mum insists it doesn't bother her - and it's only the stares of strangers that can be unsettling.

She said: "People often mistake it for bad face-painting or a bruise or a scrape on her face. I've had adults pull children away from Rosabella because of their lack of education.

"That's why we've fully supported this book because if it gets out there in front of a few more people that will prevent issues for Rosabella and other children who are born with it in the future."

For more information about Caring Matters Now and the book, visit the charity's website.