The World’s Oldest 13-Year-Old

13-year-old Zara Hartshorn suffers from a rare skin-condition called lipodystrophy, which makes her look like an old woman and causes her daily grief.

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like having to cope with people staring at you like you’re some kind of freak, and being called names like “baggy face”, “monkey” or “granny”, on a daily basis. But, no one knows what Zara has to go through, better than her own mother, 40-year-old Tracy. She says she knew her youngest daughter inherited her dreadful condition, ever since she was just a few days old. All her other kids have it too, but the symptoms are much more severs in Zara’s case.

Tracy managed to protect her little girl until she had to go to school. That’s when the nightmare began. Schoolmates make fun of her and beat her up if she tries to talk back, adults stop and stare at her wrinkled face as if it’s her fault she was born with this yet incurable condition.

Lipodystrophy causes the fatty tissue underneath the skin to deteriorate, while the skin itself grows in excess, at an accelerated pace. Tracy, who experienced the same tragedies, when she was Zara’s age, had facelift surgery, but after only two years, the lypodystrophy symptoms were just as severe and now she had the surgery scars as well.

Modern medicine has advanced a lot since then, and Tracy is desperate to help Zara before it’s too late. Unfortunately, she can’t afford the proper skin treatment on a single salary. But if there’s ever a sure way her daughter could be spared all the torment, she’d do anything to save her.

via Mirror.co.uk

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Feedback (2 Comments)

  • Oli Posted on February 5, 2010

    Those kids who tease her just have to learn to shut the hell up and keep it to themselves, or better yet, not to think about it all. It isn’t her fault that she came out that way, nor is it her mother’s fault either. Some people are just unfortunate to end up like that so for those ordinary jackasses, they just have to lay off and think about it through a different perspective.