Rare Skin Disease Hasn’t Stopped This Beautiful Girl from Becoming a Successful Model

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19-year-old Chantelle Brown-Young is perhaps the world’s first and only model with vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of the skin. Vitiligo is the result of a malfunctioning immune system, has no cure and affects less than one percent of the world’s population. It’s the same disorder that pop icon Michael Jackson suffered from. In Chantelle’s case, the condition almost ruined her life. That is, until she decided to turn it around.

As a child, Chantelle became an easy target for bullies. “While growing up, I was teased, ridiculed, and bullied and called names like cow, zebra, and all manner of other disparaging slurs,” she said. “The continuous harassment and the despair that it brought on my life was so unbearably dehumanizing that I wanted to kill myself.” Her mother, Lisa Brown, said: “Chantelle is a sweet, beautiful, outgoing teenager and while she was being abused, I didn’t stop praying that God would help me find a way.”

Eventually, Lisa’s prayers were answered. The family moved from Canada to California, and Chantelle decided that in her new life, she wouldn’t be limited by her condition. She realized that she was in control of her destiny, if only she was prepared to change the way she saw herself. So instead of blaming her skin condition for all her troubles, she started to embrace the flaw. She also pushed back the negative energies and the negative people who surrounded her.

Chantelle-Brown

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Chinese Man Has Horn Growing Out of His Neck

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For over 30 years, a man in China has been living with a horn growing out of his neck. 62-year-old Li Zhibing, from Shiyan in Hubei Province, said that the unusual growth first appeared on his neck in 1980. Since then, the horn has been growing at an alarming pace so Li’s friends actually help him saw it off twice a year.

Li’s greatest wish is to find out more about the mysterious horn and what caused it. Earlier, he used to visit a local doctor who treated it with herbs from the nearby mountains. But Li now suspects that this treatment actually made the horn grow faster. At its longest, the horn has grown up to 15 centimeters perpendicularly from the nape of his neck. And when it gets too long, his neck gets swollen and he runs a fever. So he needs to saw it off from time to time.

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Rare Condition Causes Woman to Smell Like Rotten Fish

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For 14 years, company director Ellie James has been receiving the same Secret Santa presents at Christmas – bottles of perfume and bars of soap. And when she opens them, she is met with roaring laughter from her colleagues. The presents are mortifying, they break her heart every time because they are a subtle reminder of the horrible genetic disorder that she has to live with. Ellie suffers from a rare condition that leaves her reeking of fish and rotten eggs.

Ellie’s condition might seem amusing or even downright funny, but it’s quite sad when you look at it from her point of view. You might think that she isn’t very good at personal hygiene, but you would be wrong. At one point, she even showered five times a day and scrubbed her skin with dishwashing detergent until it became red and raw. But nothing worked; no matter how much Ellie cleaned herself, the smell kept coming back stronger.

It all began when Ellie turned 30. “At first I didn’t understand what was wrong,” said the 44-year-old from Abingdon, Oxfordshire. “I’d always had impeccable hygiene. The smell was a complete mystery – I wondered if my cat had brought in a mouse and left it to rot. But I slowly realized it was me when strangers began to stare at me while holding their noses. I heard people whispering about me in the office.”

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The Human Brewery – Man’s Stomach Turns Starchy and Sugary Foods into Alcohol

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34-year-old Matthew Hogg has a rare condition – auto-brewery syndrome. Every time he eats starchy or sugary foods, his body converts the food into alcohol that is released into his blood stream. This alcohol is so strong that he ends up intoxicated without even touching a single drink.

While this might sound like an alcoholic’s dream, for Matthew, it’s nothing short of a nightmare. He’s been suffering from the rare condition since primary school and his parents have spent their entire life savings of over $80,000 on diagnosing his illness. After seeing several specialists, the condition was finally identified when a test by Dr. Keith Eaton in London revealed high levels of ethanol in his blood and indicated bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. It is this yeast overgrowth that converts his meals into alcohol.

“I have experienced symptoms from birth and during my childhood there were countless times I suffered drunkenness without having consumed an alcoholic beverage,” said Matthew. “Every time I eat bread, potatoes or starchy rice I produce 100 percent proof drinking alcohol that travels around my body through my bloodstream – if I eat a portion of rice I would suffer a hangover equivalent of having glugged three bottles of red wine the night before.”

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Meet James Harrison, the Man Whose Extremely Rare Blood Has Saved Millions of Babies’ Lives

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74-year-old James Harrison is a superhero in his own right. Granted, he doesn’t wear a cape or spin webs, but he has saved over two million babies’ lives in the past 54 years. And in real life, it doesn’t get cooler than that.

Australian-born James has a very special type of blood – the plasma contains an antibody that cures babies of Rhesus disease, a severe form of anemia. He has been donating blood every few weeks since he was 18 years old, and has done it over 1,000 times now. James never fails to make a donation; even when he’s holidaying, he makes sure to stop by a donor center. “I’ve donated on the Sunshine Coast, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, NSW, wherever I go and I get around the place with the caravan club I’m in.”

“I’ve never thought about stopping. Never,” he said. His initial motivation for donating was a major chest surgery that he underwent at age 14, for which he needed 13 liters of blood. “I was in the hospital for three months. The blood I received saved my life so I made a pledge to give blood when I was 18. I said to my father that I would give blood myself as soon as possible and I stayed true to my word.”

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Woman Who Has Never Eaten Solid Food Lives off Milk, Tea and Water

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Manju Dharra, a 25-year-old Indian woman, hasn’t had a bite to eat since she was born. For the past two-and-a-half decades she has been surviving on a liquid diet consisting of milk, tea, buttermilk and water.

Manju is from a small town called Sonipat, located near India’s capital, New Delhi. She suffers from a rare condition called achalasia – a failure of smooth muscle fibers to relax. Because of this, the cardiac sphincter muscle (that closes the opening from the gullet to the stomach to prevent acid reflux) does not open at all. So food cannot pass into the stomach and the gullet is blocked. The result – violent vomiting if she ever tries to eat anything solid.

“If I eat something then I throw up and I feel very, very bad. Now I feel fear when I look at solid food,” said Manju. Her mother, Bhagwati Dharra, added: “She only takes fluids like milk, tea, water, and sometimes juice. Mostly she takes milk, tea, buttermilk, water. If she eats solid food, she faces the problem of vomiting suddenly.”

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Yemeni Girl Cries Stone Tears, Baffles Scientists

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We’ve seen people shedding tears of blood before, but this 12-year-old Yemeni girl’s problem is truly baffling. When Saadiya Saleh cries, her eyes release small, hard stones. They form under her eyelids and get pushed to the front of her eyes, emerging as tears.

Doctors are unable to explain the strange phenomenon because Saadiya isn’t suffering from any known disease. Yemen’s satellite TV channel, Azal, aired a video that shows stones forming in her eyes. She is surrounded by family members and doctors, while a helper wipes her eyes with a napkin. The footage also reveals a small box full of stones that collected from Saadiya’s eyes in a few hours.

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Inspiring Doctor Dresses as Homeless and Makes House Calls to People without Homes

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Dr. Jim Withers, from Pittsburgh, Pa., has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to treating the city’s homeless. He is known as the ‘street doctor’ because he dresses up like a homeless person and goes out at night to provide medical care to the real needy.

The extraordinary doctor started his unusual practice in 1992, along with Mike Sallows, a former homeless man. The two of them went out at night with backpacks of medicine. Withers estimates that he has treated over 1,200 homeless people a year since 1992.

Today, his initiative has evolved into a national network of medical students and volunteers who treat the homeless, four nights a week. The nightly service is now a nonprofit – Operation Safety Net. It is one of the first full-time street medicine programs in the United States.

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Woman Shares Her Body with 15 Different Personalities Who Can Each Take Control at Any Time

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Kimi Sands suffers from a very strange condition called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), otherwise known as multiple personality disorder. The 23-year-old, from Cardiff, Wales, shares her body with 15 different personalities any one of which can take control at any time.

In the movies, people suffering from DID are often portrayed as dangerous criminals or serial killers. Not Kimi, though. None of her personalities make her do anything horrible. At worst, she and her partner Chris Lee need to buy Christmas presents for all 15, making the holidays more expensive for them.

“Including myself, there are 16 individuals to get presents for,” said Kimi. “These can be anything from alcohol for the older personalities to teddies for kids.” That’s right, the personalities all belong to different age groups. Among them are 22-year-old Japanese chef Satou, 17-year-old exercise addict Fiona, and four-year-old twins Jack and Safyer. There’s also a 23-year-old Yorkshire man, Ashy, and a party-loving bisexual, Theodore, aged 15.

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Rosemary Jacobs, the Woman Whose Skin Turned Silver after Using Nose Drops

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71-year-old Rosemary Jacobs has had silver-colored skin for the past 60 years. At age 11, she developed a rare condition called argyria – caused by exposure to chemical forms of the element silver that makes the skin turn blue or bluish-grey. For Rosemary, the exposure occurred from nasal drops containing colloidal silver.

Rosemary’s story is unbelievable;  Whoever heard of a real person turning silver after using silver nasal drops? You only get to see skin color changing in cartoons,  but apparently the condition is real, and Rosemary has had to live a life of stigma because of it. Of course, her skin didn’t change color overnight. In fact, she was diagnosed with argyria four years after she began using the medication.

Rosemary, a retired Spanish teacher from Vermont, U.S., said: “When I was 11 years old, my mother mentioned to an ENT specialist that I always had a cold. He told me that it had to be allergies and prescribed nose drops that contained silver, recommending that I take them ‘as needed’.” She did as she was told, using the drops every time she had a stuffy nose.

At first, no could notice any difference in Rosemary’s skin, not even her parents. “The change in my color was so slow, I didn’t notice. My family and friends didn’t notice either because they saw me every day,” she said.

Rosemary-Jacobs-argyria

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Scientists Create Candy That Doesn’t Cause Cavities

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Dentists have always warned us that too much candy will cause cavities. But all that could be a thing of the past, thanks to a new experiment by scientists from the Berlin biotechnology firm, OrganoBalance.

It turns out that candy doesn’t cause cavities at all. The bad guys are actually the bacteria that remain on our teeth after we eat sugary treats. So the scientists’ logic was simple – reduce the amount of ‘bad’ bacteria in candy, and the chances of cavities should naturally decrease.

After you eat a normal piece of candy, the bacteria on your teeth slowly release an acid that eats into tooth enamel. When the enamel wears down, it causes cavities to develop. One of the most common strains of bacteria responsible for cavities is mutans streptococci. When you chew candy, this bacteria is released into the saliva. If you swallow or spit, some of the bacteria is removed, but the remaining sits on your teeth and causes them to rot.

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Rare Condition Causes Woman to Cry and Sweat Blood

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19-year-old Delfina Cedeno has been suffering from a rare disorder for the past four years – she has been crying and sweating blood. Occasionally, blood also seeps out of her fingernails, belly button and nostrils.

Doctors at Delfina’s home town of Vernon, in the Dominican Republic, were baffled for a long time. Even after hundreds of tests, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. In fact, no one believed Delfina until they actually saw her bleeding.

“At first, no one could help me and they looked at me like a crazy person when I told them what was going on,” the teenager said. “It was only when I started bleeding in front of a doctor one day that they began to take me seriously.” Things got totally out of hand when she bled for up to 15 days and was in such a critical condition that she needed a blood transfusion.

Delfina herself was scared to death and extremely stressed out with her horrifying condition. “When this started happening, I didn’t know what to think. I was terrified and in complete shock.” She also felt ashamed to leave home.

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The Inspirational Story of a Paralyzed Surgeon who Continues to Operate

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Dr. Ted Rummel thought his life was pretty much over when he was left paralyzed from the waist-down in 2010. The exceptional surgeon had been diagnosed with a cavernous hemangioma – a blood filled cyst – in the middle of his spinal cord a year earlier. Neurologists told him the cyst couldn’t be surgically removed, as the procedure would paralyze him instantly. Instead he was told to rest, wait, and pray the cyst never ruptured.

Unfortunately for Dr. Rummel, the cyst did burst in September 2010, just a week after he performed a rotator cuff surgery on his wife Kathy – his last surgery for the next two years. He suffered a terrible back ache, followed by numbness and weakness in his legs. Within days, “a wave crashed over his lower body and took all feeling and mobility with it.” Dr. Rummel was paralyzed for life.

It’s sad that something so terrible should have happened to him, after he cured thousands of people in St. Charles County of pain and stiffness in their joints. In his best days, he had practiced over 1,000 surgeries per year in O’Fallon, Missouri.

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Woman Gets Platinum Jewel Implanted in Her Eye to Make Herself Unique

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Lucy Luckayanko is perhaps the only New Yorker to have an eye-stud. She spent $3,000 on a one-minute procedure to have a heart-shaped piece of platinum inserted into the white of her right eyeball.

Harvard and NYU-trained Dr. Chynn performed the procedure. Interestingly, he has been featured here on OC before. He made news last August as a love-crazed doctor desperate to find his soul-mate. He spent thousands of dollars on high-end matchmaking services and charity donations in exchange for dates. When nothing worked out, he began to offer free cosmetic procedures to anyone who would introduce him to the girl of his dreams. Going by this, we don’t know if Lucy has had to pay for her treatment or got it free in exchange for setting up Dr. Chynn on a date. In any case, she went ahead with it and now she looks like she has a piece of dirt stuck in her eye forever.

It seems doctors have done this procedure several times in Europe and Los Angeles, but this was New York’s first. To perform it, Dr. Chynn first injected an anesthetic into Lucy’s eye. Then he made a tiny incision to “try to divide a pocket in between the sclera (the white part) and the conjunctiva (the clear part)” of her eye. Using forceps, he placed the 3.5mm platinum stud in a drop of water on Lucy’s eye membrane. Since the stud is so small, it had to be floated into position. It was all over in a matter of minutes and Lucy went home with her new bejeweled eye soon after.

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Turkey’s Bushy Trend: Mustache Implants

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Turkey’s delicious baklava and its crowded Grand Bazaar have always attracted tourists, but now there’s a new reason why men are flocking to the transcontinental country – bushier mustaches and beards. No, it’s not something in the air that makes your face hairier, but there are clinics specialized in this matter, so gentlemen, if you want a manlier look, Turkey is the place to go.

The mustache has had an important role in society since time immemorial and although some cultures have abandoned it as a fashion icon, others have kept it and made a tradition out of wearing it. Today, the mustache is pretty popular especially in the Middle East and parts of Asia: when it comes to politics, the mustache is among the elements that capture the differences between the Western world, where being clean shaved is considered a sign of stability and maturity, and the Eastern world, where the mustache is a mark of traditionalism.  All in all, politics or not, the mustache is a sign of pure masculinity and a fashion statement. Hipsters know what I mean. Getting the mustache you’ve always dreamed of is possible through a simple medical procedure called follicle-hair extraction. In medical terms, the procedure implies removing hair from hairier areas and implanting it into the mustache or beard area. In laymen terms, the follicle-hair extraction means recycling your own hair. I’m just wondering, what would be the most suitable area of the body to provide the hair for the implant?

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