Rare Condition Makes 16-Year-Old Girl Look Like a Grandmother

Raizel Calago is only 16-years-old, but you would never guess just by looking at her. She suffers from a rare condition called progeria which makes her look four times her age.

In only two years, Raizel Calago went from a beautiful young girl who attended beauty pageants, to an old-looking woman that many people mistake for a grandmother. The young Filipina says that she started noticing wrinkles in her skin just days after rashes erupted all over her body. Red, itchy patches that were painful to the touch appeared on her body, and when she went for a checkup, she was told that they had been caused by an insect. She was given medication, but that didn’t help, and soon she started noticing physical changes to her appearance. Now, it’s hard to believe she is just 16-years-old…

“It’s painful when they tell me that my daughter looks older than me. Sometimes, I imagine her when she grows old and see how beautiful she could be,” Raizel’s mother, Joela (36), said. “She was beautiful ever since she was a baby but now, her face, it’s so far from her beauty when she was younger.”

Ever since her appearance changed, the 16-year-old has been too ashamed to hang out with her friends as she used to. She also avoids going out without a mask covering most of her face, because she is embarrassed by how she looks. All she wants is for things to go back to eh way they were a couple of years ago.


“They ask me why my looks got older. I don’t answer them because I also don’t know what happened,” Raizel told GMA Network. “I always pray that I’ll get better and my old skin and looks would go back. If so, I’ll be able to hang with my friends again. I can’t now because I’m ashamed.”

Raizel Calago was recently featured on the popular “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” TV show and the production team took her to endocrinologist Dr. James Young, whose initial diagnosis was progeria. This incredibly rare condition causes wrinkling or aging of the skin and stunted growth and increases the risk of experiencing a heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.


Unfortunately, the physical changes caused by progeria are irreversible, so all doctors can do now is do their best to prevent cardiovascular problems from manifesting, and treat osteoporosis and joint problems, two of the most common side-effects of progeria.

Because Raizel’s parents lack the money to pay for the necessary treatments, her family has appealed to kind-hearted people willing to donate towards her cause.

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