A woman who was told by doctors she was 'too ugly for the catwalk' has proved them wrong to become a beauty blogger with 20,000 followers.
Katie Meehan, 25, from Fellgate, Jarrow, was born with a severely disfigured face due to a diagnosis of cystic hygroma, where fluid formed on her face.
The determined university student refused to let her condition prevent her from doing what she loves and started a beauty blog on YouTube dedicated to make-up tutorials.
She said during an appearance on ITV's This Morning that her condition was 'the best thing that ever happened' because it opened up opportunities and taught her to stay motivated to chase her dreams.
Katie said: 'Although I've been faced with this adversity, it's actually probably been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I would never have had the opportunities that I have had and the outlook on life that I have.
'It's given me the motivation and love for what I do to just take it as far as I can.'
Katie said doctors telling her mum Dawn McIntyre, that she should never expect her daughter to make it on to a catwalk, was 'very harsh' to hear.
She continued of living with her condition: 'A lot of people expect it to have a massively negative effect but it really didn’t I had such a great quality of life growing up.
'I had an amazing community surrounding me and I felt so much love growing up and I always felt so loved.'
When she was younger Katie's condition was life-threatening as whenever she contracted a cold or infection her face would swell to twice its normal size, potentially meaning her airways could close and she could stop breathing.
The community in Southshields along with the local newspaper, funded surgery she needed after she went private because the operation wasn't available on the NHS.
A world-renowned surgeon de-bulked all the cyst from her tongue so that it could fit in mouth and she could eat and breathe. He also removed her face to remove fluid and stitched back on.
Katie had her first operation in 2000 at Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London carried out by Professor Ian Jackson. In spring 2001 she had her second at the Portland Hospital in London, and two years later, she had a third operation.
Now Katie says that not many people notice she has a disfigurement and for her she believes that it's only herself that notices her insecurities than other people.
The Prince's Trust digital ambassador said her ultimate dream is to pursue a partnership with a beauty brand.
'The ultimate dream is to work with some more brands that I love. I would love to be a face of a beauty campaign. One of the first beauty bloggers with a disfigurement to be proud and out there supporting others with difficulties.'
She added: 'I think you’ve only got one life and you’ve really got to grab it and just do what you want. At the end of day it's your life and you get to dictate what you do with it. Seize the day and make the most of it.'