Allison Hale isn't the average teenager, because at 15 years old she fought and survived a bout with Hodgkins' Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer.
The battle left behind scars.
But Hale wears them proudly.
However, she was shocked to see not every person understood her scars were a point of pride.
For example, the company who took her school yearbook photos.
After getting her photos back, Hale was shocked to find her most important battle scar was edited out of the photo.
The scar from where Hale's chemo port was placed, which normally clearly appears on her chest, was gone.
"When I pulled out the photo, my whole face dropped," she said to People.
"I felt like my heart just sunk straight to my stomach because [my port] is so important to me, and it was just erased completely."
Immediately after addressing the image with the photography company, Hale says they were quick to apologize and re-edit the photo to include the scar.
However, Hale said the incident turned her onto how society places stigma on folks with scars—and how she would like to engage with that conversation.
"Everyone looks different. Everyone has something, and everyone is going to have an opinion of themselves and other people."
"You need to stop thinking, 'How do people see me?' and start thinking more of, how do you see you? Once that perspective changes, everything changes."
After five rounds of chemotherapy and 20 rounds of radiation, Allison was cancer free, but the memory of her experience has completely stuck with her.
"I wasn't really self-conscious of having the port because that was the access to heal me, to cure me," she said.
"That's not something that I want to try to hide because that saved my life."
Picture day became important to her once she realized she might never have another one.
"I was just so ecstatic to have another picture and to be able to show the new person, the stronger Allison, that I had become."
Despite the editing job, Hale says the company employees she spoke to were understanding and she understood, in return, their choice to edit out the scar.
However, the scar means so much more to her than just a mark on the skin.
"When I look at my scar now, I feel incredibly empowered, stronger than I ever thought I could be."
"I feel like a beautiful person, not even just looking in the mirror, but just thinking about who I am and how I'm trying to better myself."
Hale has been fully cancer free since June.
We wish her the best for a bright future.