DAY 23: THE CHILDREN WHO ARE “OLDER” THAN THEIR PARENTS.

adalia header

While surfing the web one day like that, I stumbled on a video of a little girl called Adalia Rose.  What caught my attention was Adalia’s physical appearance. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure whether what I was looking at was human or extra-terrestrial.    I found it cute though watching several videos of this peculiar looking child having fun, dancing, singing and excitedly chatting away. I still couldn’t figure out what could have been responsible for her odd look. I was quite confused really. In addition to her unique facies and aged appearance, she has a large bald head, a tiny body, and a very nasal voice.  I couldn’t possibly imagine what was responsible for all these.  As they say Google is your friend so I put it to use and found some interesting things. It turns out Adalia was born with a very rare disease, called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (progeria for short). Even with her disease, Adalia is such a beautiful, sweet child. I think she’s pretty sharp for her age too. A victim of constant cyber-bullying,  Adalia has continued to enjoy her life and raise awareness about her condition. She’s quite the little starlet too, just check out her Videos on YouTube.

Asides Adalia, Hayley Okines is another famous child living with HGP syndrome. She has co-written and published her autobiography  titled “Old Before My Time ” in addition to raising  funds for research and awareness about her condition.

She alongside Sam Berns have lived past the usual life expectancy for children with thier condtion, which is 13 years.  At age 14, Hayley had the body of a 105 year old woman and is among 89 children in 32 countries living with progeria. These children are true gladiators! i trully respect them.

Hayley Okines

Hayley Okines

Progeria is one of several progeroid syndromes. The word progeria comes from the Greek words “pro”, meaning “before” or “premature”, and “gēras”, meaning “old age”. The disorder has a very low incident rate, occurring in an estimated 1 per 8 million live births. Those born with progeria typically live to their mid teens to early twenties. It is a genetic condition that occurs as a new mutation, and is rarely inherited. Although the term progeria applies strictly speaking to all diseases characterized by premature aging symptoms, and is often used as such, it is often applied specifically in reference to Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS). (Source : Wikipedia)

No treatments have been proven effective. Most treatment focuses on reducing complications (such as cardiovascular disease) with heart bypass surgery or low-dose aspirin. Children may also benefit from a high-energy diet.  As there is no known cure, few people with progeria exceed 13 years of age. At least 90% of patients die from complications of atherosclerosis, such as heart attack or stroke. (Source : Wikipedia)

Mental development is not adversely affected; in fact, intelligence tends to be above average.  They age at a rate eight to ten times faster than normal. They show no neurodegeneration or cancer predisposition. They also do not develop the so-called “wear and tear” conditions commonly associated with aging, such as cataracts (caused by UV exposure) and osteoarthritis (caused by mechanical wear).  Although there may not be any successful treatments for progeria itself, there are treatments for the problems it causes, such as arthritic, respiratory, and cardiovascular problems.(Source : Wikipedia)

Click here for more info on Progeria.

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