The story of Dana Vulin, of Perth, Australia, begins with a horrific tragedy. Dana was 28-years old, outgoing and beautiful. But on New Year's Eve, everything changed when she suffered an incident that left her very badly burned on her face and upper body. Her story of survival is inspiring.
Dana, pictured on the left, had a normal life. She would have never guessed the journey that lay ahead of her.
Now, she would admit that her looks had always been a source of pride for her. She didn't know what an incredibly strong-fighting spirit she had within herself the whole time.
After her attack, 64 percent of Dana's body was covered in burns. It was so terrible that her mother didn't recognize her.
She wore this mask for 30 months as she healed. The mask made her feel alone, "faceless.”
But she summoned the courage to go to court, still wearing the mask and needing help to move, in a trial that sentenced her attacker to 17 years of jail time.
As she healed, Dana got another devastating diagnosis: she had cervical cancer.
She fought and successfully overcame the cancer, all the while still working hard on recovering from her previous injuries.
She said, "I am a strong person, and more than anything that I've learnt in my burn is that I will never change and I know the person I am and I'm confident in the woman that I am."
Summoning all her courage, Dana agreed to appear on a TV show to talk about her experiences.
For the first time, Dana removed the mask and showed her transformed face to the world.
As she showed her new face, she said, "I hope they'll see strength, power, confidence, self respect, courage, and determination." She says that the scars do not bother her any longer. They're part of the experience that defines who she is.
She even appeared on a fashion show and stood proud before applauding fans. This would make most people nervous, but Dana shone brightly in the spotlight, letting her inner radiance shine through.
Today, Dana's scars have all but disappeared. But Dana has been changed forever by the experience.
"I have worked so hard everyday and the results are starting to really show. Although the progress is slow, I'm starting to look like Dana again," she said.
But Dana's true beauty comes from her confidence and strength of spirit.
Credit: Little Things