Olivia's inspirational story

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RICHMOND, Vt. (WCAX) It's an average Sunday in the Sanborn House in Richmond. A day filled with games and family.

"We're just a regular family doing the same things that other families do," said Laurel Sanborn, a mother of two.

But this family has a unique story. In 2002 they welcomed their second child, Olivia, into the world. At birth, she was diagnosed with Pfeiffer Syndrome, a genetic disorder that does not allow the face to grow properly.

"We kind of thought something might be wrong. We wanted to think they were wrong, that she didn't have this," Sanborn said.

After over 20 surgeries, Olivia is a freshman at Mount Mansfield and is an active member of her community. While she says she has been judged by her looks in the past, she lives life without having too much fear of what people might think of her.

"A lot of people were accepting," said Olivia.

Her older sister, Amelia, agrees.

"I don't think her facial difference really gets in the way of anything," she said.

Olivia's condition is in the spotlight after the award-winning book "Wonder" was made into a movie. It highlights the life of a boy in a situation similar to hers.

"The book, the movie -- they really have raised awareness," Sanborn said.

When the book was written a few years ago, Olivia traveled around the state speaking about her experiences. Today, with the movie's nationwide release, she has been Skyping with classrooms around the country, giving a real-life connection to the fictional character.

"They would know like that I'm kind of like Auggie in the book and that they know that I need to be accepted," Olivia said.

The family hopes the world can learn from Olivia, a teen who brings a Hollywood story to life. While the book and movie were not based on her specifically, the message of respect and kindness is one she relates to and shares.

"Everyone is not perfect, but everyone is unique in their own special way, and everyone has something different about them. People shouldn't be judging people -- other people -- who have facial differences. That's their difference," said Olivia.

Olivia and her family have had an opportunity to meet not only the author of the book but also the actor who plays the main character in the movie which is now in theaters across the region.