Have you heard of Progeria?
Better question, have you seen “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?” Well, if you haven’t, the movie is about a man that is suffering from a rather peculiar disease. The disease that he is suffering from, causes him to age backward. He begins his life as an old man, and ages backward until he becomes a baby.
Sounds riveting, right? It’s actually a great movie and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Anyway, I digress. The disease that the main character in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is suffering from, is based on the disease Progeria. Which is a very real, and incredibly rare, disease.
Progeria, AKA the “Benjamin Button” disease, is caused by a mutation of a specific gene in children, called LMNA. This protein was discovered by the progeria research foundation, here.
This disease causes accelerated aging of children. When born, they appear normal, but as they reach the age of one, symptoms slowly begin to develop. Symptoms such as complete hair loss, thinning spotty wrinkled skin, High-pitched voice and many other symptoms you can view here.
Because of this accelerated aging, it also causes a plethora of other health issues to arise as well: Hearing loss, stiff joints, severe cardiovascular disease and several other potential health issues.
It is an extremely debilitating disease that affects hundreds of people today. The disease itself is exceptionally rare, affecting 1 in 20 million people and affects a total of 350-400 children worldwide at any one time. The children that are affected by Progeria, have a poor life expectancy. Most are expected to live no longer than 13 years of age.
An amazing individual by the name of Sam Bernes was the face of Progeria for quite some time. A strong, fun, and intelligent young man who had his own TED talk as well as his own documentary, he showed the world that just because he had this disease, did not mean he was unhappy. In this Ted talk of his, titled “My Philosophy for a Happy Life,” Sam speaks about his philosophy and how others can live just as happy a life as he lived.
I was extremely saddened when I had heard Sam Bernes passed away from complications from the disease. He tried his best to live his life the way he wanted to. He did not allow this disease to control him and hold him back. For instance, even when he was told he would be unable to march with a snare drum in marching band, he found a way to achieve what he wanted to achieve.
Not one to stand idly by and let his dream pass him by, he worked with an engineer to have an extremely lightweight harness developed just for him, which allowed him to carry a snare drum and play in the drumline.
The world lost a beautiful person, but with his short 17 years of life, he left a big impression that will live long in the hearts of many.
The foundation that his parents started, the Progeria Research Foundation is a wonderful organization that has made huge leaps in Progeria Research. You can find more information on them here, and if you want you can also support them with donations to help them find a cure for this debilitating disease.
You may be asking yourself, “Fettuccine, what does this have to do with supplements?” My answer to that: Absolutely nothing, actually. I just like to mix it up and include other fun random information.
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If you haven’t, make sure you check out the weird as hell first part, here.
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