Oscar von Memerty is a South African, he survived a high risk pregnancy, his first few years were tremendously difficult. Von Memerty has a rare condition called Maroteaux Lamy Syndrome (MLS) Type 6, which has dwarfed his physical growth. Now 21 years old, he stands at two thirds of the height of the average male at just 113cm . But while his body was stagnant, Von Memerty was growing his will. And this has allowed him to save his own life. Defying the odds, he has become a professional hip-hop dancer, turning his biggest liability into an asset.
In the early days Von Memerty’s family sought ways to lessen the effects of his condition. MLS can be fatal if not treated at the right time. His sister tragically passed away in 1998, having lived with MLS as well. But after Von Memerty’s body rejected a bone marrow transplant and the risks of a second attempted transplant were deemed to high, his parents accepted the situation. They chose simply to love and support their son. Coming to the personal realisation that he was different was challenging for Von Memerty. But it was an important step towards loving himself.
He’s found an identity in hip-hop, but Von Memerty’s greater goal is to inspire others through his motivational speaking to turn their disadvantages to their advantage. His life is the perfect victory study. When medicine could not fix him, Von Memerty realised that he did not need to change – only that he needed to improvise.