This girl looks like an old lady, but she still attends the school. Learn why she ages so fast.
Meet Ontlametse Phalatse. She resides in South Africa and she was the first one among the black kids to be diagnosed with something called progeria. This syndrome is rare, and it causes children to age much faster. Presently they have found only 140 black African kids with this disease.
The condition is passed through genes from one generation to another. Unless you do a special test, you cannot tell if a baby has it or not. All such babies are born healthy looking. However, progeria is incurable, and it kills kids fast. The average life expectancy for such children is only 13 years.
Here is what the girl says:
“I call myself a first lady because I’m the first black child with this disease.”
Her body does not grow, and she gets stiff joints. Her hair falls off, and she loses the body fat as if she was timeworn. The brain of the child remains unchanged, and she is fit for schooling.
Ontlametse is set to have a normal life. Other kids think she has AIDS since she is so small and skinny. Kids bully her. She says:
“I don’t care what people say about me, I would like to be a psychologist so that I can work on the problems of other people and so that they can accept the way that they are because they can see that I accept the way I am.”
We wish her all the best and hope more people would become aware of such conditions and stop shunning and bullying people who have it!