Deep, dark water - Sylvia Mac

My guest this week is Sylvia Mac, Child Burn Survivor & Founder of Love Disfigure. Sylvia endured third and fourth degree burns across her body as a result of an accident when she was just three years old. The experience and her gruelling treatment left her traumatised, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression in later life as well as suicidal thoughts.

Finding that there was not much help for burn survivors, Sylvia created LoveDisfigure, a campaign to raise awareness and support for those living with disfigurement and differences. Through the campaign, she revealed a video that showed her scars and her story about the accident, with others being encouraged to do the same. She has since been actively campaigning for people with visible & hidden differences to become accepted in society. She has received a Point of Light Award for her voluntary services from Theresa May.

Sylvia says her life is dedicated to making a difference. Her incredible story has touched hearts, inspired and helped many. When asked what she thinks makes a woman fabulous and fearless, she says “When women put themselves out there to lead the way for others.”

In this episode, Sylvia talks about how she survived her burns as a child and the trauma she's gone through. We talk about how she responded to this trauma growing up and what effect it had on her at school, relationships and on her self confidence.

The fear of water is very deep rooted for Sylvia and links back to her memories of school. To overcome it she swam one of the toughest open water challenges. Sylvia wanted to show people you can face your fears and overcome anything.

We talk about her fear of speaking to an audience, the positive voice on one shoulder and the negative voice on the other, and how this fear saw her turning away from job interviews because she felt lesser then, and throwing presentations in the bin. Sylvia has bravely overcome this fear too and now speaks to Governments. I ask her how she did this, and we talk about her journey to finding self acceptance and self love.


Find out more about Sylvia and her work at

** This episode was recorded remotely due to Covid 19 **

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