VIDEO: Eerie Medical Anomalies in Humans
From people who are allergic to water, to the most intense, rarest conditions, this video presents the eeriest medical anomalies in humans!
Lizzie Velasquez suffers from a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight.
According to Wikipedia, Lizzie was born on March 13, 1989, in Austin, Texas. Born four weeks prematurely, her birth weight was only 1.219 kilograms.
Velásquez’s condition is a very rare, previously undiagnosed and non-terminal genetic disorder. Her condition bears similarities to many other conditions, especially progeria.
Medical researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center previously speculated that it may be a form of neonatal progeroid syndrome (NPS) (Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome), which does not affect Velásquez’s healthy bones, organs, and teeth. Up to now, about 51 cases of NPS have been reported.
Velásquez is medically unable to gain weight, which is a hallmark of her rare disorder. She has never weighed more than 29 kg (64 lbs), and reportedly has almost 0% body fat. Moreover, she is required to eat many small meals and snacks throughout the day, averaging between 5,000 to 8,000 calories daily.
Additionally, she is blind in her right eye, which began to cloud over when she was 4, and she is vision-impaired in her left eye.
Around 2015, it was elucidated that Lizzie Velasquez and another woman named Abby Solomon with a similar but less severe variant of the condition have mutations in the FBN1 gene, which encodes the proprotein of the novel hormone asprosin, and that this mutation results in asprosin deficiency and is responsible for their conditions.
The condition is specifically called Marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy syndrome or simply Marfan lipodystrophy syndrome.
Ever since she was dubbed the “World’s Ugliest Woman” in a video posted on YouTube in 2006, when she was 17, Velásquez has spoken out against bullying.
In January 2014 she gave a TEDxAustinWomen Talk titled “How Do YOU Define Yourself”] and her YouTube videos have received over 54 million views. She is known for her optimism. For National Bullying Prevention Month in 2015, she hosted a social media challenge for Bystander Revolution’s Month of Action.
Her first work, co-authored with her mother, Rita, is a self-published autobiography published in 2010 in English and Spanish. It is called Lizzie Beautiful: The Lizzie Velásquez Story and includes letters Velásquez’s mother wrote to her as a child.
Velásquez has also written two books directed at teenagers, which share personal stories and offer advice. Be Beautiful, Be You (2012) shares her journey “to discover what truly makes us beautiful, and teaches readers to recognize their unique gifts and blessings”.
The book is also available in Spanish as Sé bella, sé tú misma (2013). Another book, Choosing Happiness (2014), talks about some of the obstacles Velásquez has faced and how she “learned the importance of choosing to be happy when it’s all too easy to give up”. Both books were published by a Redemptorist publishing house, Liguori Publications.
A documentary film titled A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velásquez Story premiered at SXSW on March 14, 2015. The movie aired on Lifetime on October 17, 2016.
Velasquez began starring on her own Fullscreen original series titled Unzipped since April 2017.