When Aging Goes Wrong: The Girl That Cannot Gain Weight, Oldest Looking Teenager And Brothers With A “Benjamin Button” Syndrome
Most teenage girls would gladly swap places with Lizzie Velásquez, a girl that simply cannot put on weight. Despite her “skeletal” looks, she is neither anorexic nor bulimic, but she is, however, suffering from a rare disease called Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome. This is one of the rarest syndromes in the world. Besides Lizzie there are only two more people who are diagnosed with NPS. She eats a lot, about 60 small meals a day, and she hardly gains any weight. When she stands on a scale it shows 4st 3lbs.
Her disease is a form of a progressive premature aging, according to professor Garg and it left a mark on her appearances, but her personality is left untouched. Few years ago this amazing 21-year old had to face one of the worst teenager’s nightmare, she was proclaimed a “world’s ugliest person” in a YouTube video. However, Lizzie decided not to feel sorry for herself, but to stay strong and self-confident and today she is a much-loved motivational speaker, inspiring many with her own home-made inspirational YouTube videos. Her speech on defining oneself, given at one of the TEDx conferences, gained over 5 million views on YouTube, showing that a disease cannot hinder a person’s true value and beauty.
Another teenager suffers from a form of premature aging syndrome, called Progeria. Her name is Hayley Okines. Most Progeria sufferers hardly ever reach age beyond 13, but little Hayley defied all odds. She is 16, and according to her official Facebook page she has been recently accepted to college. Media Studies were her choice. She already published an autobiography and is very often appearing in media. Progeria makes you physically age eight times the normal rate, and usually leaves irreversible marks on heart and other organs.
Two brothers, Michael and Matthew Clark are both suffering from an age-reversing syndrome, called Leukodystrophy. Michael, 42, once a former RAF serviceman, today is behaving like a 10-year-old. His brother, Matthew, 39, lost his job as a factory worker and started behaving like a toddler. Matthew’s 19-year-old daughter, Lydia, is expecting a baby of her own. Clark brothers’ case pretty much mirrors The Curious Case of Benjamin Button movie; except they are not actually “growing” to a baby-size, but certainly do behave like two. Age-reversing is mostly indicated by a slowdown in their mental activities and capabilities, followed by a change in their behavior.