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Progeria Research Paper

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Never assume that a person with wrinkled skin is an old person without knowing the truth. In 1886 a rare disease called Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome better known as Progeria was identified. A gene called “lamin A” causes this uncanny disease (Popular Environmental Graffiti). Today 1 out of 8 billion babies are approximately born with this disease (Progeria Research Foundation). This disease was known to affect children and parents all over the world in different ways.

Children with Progeria are mostly born looking healthy and normal until they turn 18-24 months. During this time the doctors and people notice them aging fast. Some of the most common symptoms are: wrinkled skin, small and fragile bodies, small jaws, large head, loss of hair, pinched nose and many others (Popular Environmental Graffiti). These characteristics mainly affect these children with Progeria.

An interview was made in the 2001 to a child who suffers from Progeria. He was called John Tacket, and he was 13 years old at that time. He wanted to do this interview to show everyone that Progeria kids are not different from any other normal boys and girls of their age. He tells us how sometimes it affects and bothers him a lot when people aren’t discreet towards him. John also says that he prefers people to come up to him directly and ask him, instead of them just staring (John Tacket, Progeria Research Foundaiton). He also discuses about how it also affects him physically, how sometimes they have to make alterations and explains how he feels about it:

“It’s hard to play basketball – I need a smaller ball and a shorter hoop, which I have at my house so a lot of times my friends come over to play basketball. Sometimes I get tired, but I just sit down for a couple of minutes and then I’m ready to go. A lot of times it’s my friends that want to rest before I do! I have a hard time carrying a lot of books, so I leave 5 minutes early from my classes and go to my locker after every class to switch books for my next class.” (John Tacket, Progeria Research Foundation)

Progeria kids are functional, they act normal to their age but in developing their motor skills they may have problems, for example in writing and drawing. Many kids don’t seem so bothered by their condition. They just begin each day wry and enjoy every second of the day (Progeria.be). Progeria doesn’t affect their brain or their intellect. Most children with Progeria are in average or above intelligence in school (Popular Environmental Graffiti).

Parents with children who undergo from Progeria can have many emotional problems. When the doctor tells the parents about their child’s disease it becomes an unexpected surprise and feel plaintive thinking of how their child will be affected in the future. Many parents feel depression, confusion, anger, denial, and helplessness (Progeria.be). Both child and parent at some point learn to cope with the staring of people. A Progeria parent whose name we don’t know says:

“Be prepared for stares and even rude comments; have answers ready but don’t get into arguments. Your child may not be aware of the stares and comments, but you will. Siblings may be upset by strangers’ stares and questions; prepare them for it.” (Progeria Research Foundation)

Progeria has no cure and is lethal. Some treatment drugs exist that help Progeria children effectively but can’t take it away completely. 80% of children who suffer from Progeria die because of heart attacks or heart failures (Popular Environmental Graffiti). Most of them die at 13 years but the range is between 8 years to 21 years (Progeria Research Foundation).

Progeria is a very bizarre, drastic, radical,s and sad disease. Kids with Progeria look old in the outside but in the inside are the same as any other child and have the same capacity as his or her appropriate age. Living with Progeria isn’t easy and it’s hard for both the child and the parent. It affects a lot in emotional problems and it takes time to get adapted. Parents should always love their child no matter what and make them feel loved. These children are really easily distinguished by their looks. When a person walks around the park and sees someone different, one should never stare at him or her because one never knows how he or she may feel about a person staring. The most famous Progeria foundation’s logo says: “Together we will find a cure” (Progeria Research Foundation)

Works Cited

“Information.” Progeria.be. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. <http://www.progeria.be/informatie_EN.php>.

Progeria Research Foundation | Home. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. <http://www.progeriaresearch.org/index.html>.

“Progeria: When Children Look Like the Elderly.” Popular | Environmental Graffiti. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. <http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/chemistry/news-progeria-when-children-look-adults>.

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