LONDON – Excuse me miss, but may I see some I.D.? Zara Hartshorn, who is 13 years of age, actually gives the impression of being 50!
Zara Hartshorn has the unfortunate reality of dealing with a rare genertic disease called lipodystrophy. Due to the disease, layers of fatty tissue under the surface disappear. This leads to her more mature appearance and eliminates the youthful look a 13 year old should have. Only roughly 2,000 people in the world are said to have the condition, and there is currently no cure.
The disease has caused Hartshorn a great deal of hardship and unhappiness.
“People call me ‘granny’ and ‘monkey,'” says Hartshorn. “Sometimes I’ll just go into the toilet and cry.”
Watch her story below as told on the “Today” show: