12-year-old Ontlametse Phalatse, a South Africanis the first black child to be diagnosed with the aging disease progeria, a rare and fatal genetic condition that rushes up her aging process.
According to some news, in spite of some of the girls in her school aren't kind to her,Ontlametse Phalatse says she doesn't mind, instead the child with the big personality and bright smile calls herself "the first lady" and lives in a dream world about a future that may never come. As for Ontlametse's mother named Bellon Phalatse, her baby was born looking normal but she realized early on that something was wrong. The baby suffered constant rashes and by the time she was 3 months old, Phalatse thought she had a skin disease. Before Ontlametse’s first birthday, her mother added: "Her hair was falling, her nails weren't normal, the skin problems, we were going up and down to the doctors." As the child aged prematurely, her father abandoned the family when Ontlametse was 3 years old. Interestingly, in a two-year campaign to identify children with this kind of disease, the Progeria Research Foundation announced the number of children diagnosed around the world has risen up to 48 percent, from 54 to 80, on five continents. The foundation said more than two South Africans have been diagnosed and that two including Phalatse remain alive.
Ontlametse Phalatse is the only known black female born with the extremely rare premature aging disease
Twice a year Phalatse flies to Boston University's Progeria Research Foundation in the U.S. where scientists are trying to find a cure for her condition
Ontlametse Phalatse was pictured on August 24, 2011 reading to the class during reading lessons at the Lorato Primary School in Hebron, near Pretoria, South Africa
The girl resembling an aging woman stands in line to hand in an assignment during classes at the Lorato Primary School
The 12-year-old baby is photographed at her desk with her best friend Katlego Mathabe
Ontlametse Phalatse, a progeria sufferer is captured with her mother Bella at the front door of their home in Hebron, near Pretoria, South Africa
Although some of the girls in her school aren't kind to her, Phalatse doesn't mind…
…she still calls herself "the first lady" and fantasizes about a future that may never come
Ontlametse Phalatse in her "Hannah Montana" bedroom in Hebron, near Pretoria, South Africa which was created for her by "Reach For A Dream Foundation". This is the organization which fulfills the dreams of children suffering from terminal illnesses
12-year-old Ontlametse Phalatse: First Black Child with Aging Disease
Mary Rose is currently a lecturer on society. In her free time, Mary is fond of joining social activities. Her goal is to provide up-to-date news and articles on society and culture.