A BRITISH teen has an extremely rare condition which only affects 13 people in the world.
Dylan Lombard was diagnosed with Mandibular Hypoplasia, with Deafness and Progeroid Features, at 10 – meaning his body cannot store fat.
The 18-year-old wants to educate the world about his illness – which affects just one in six hundred million people globally.
It results in a small lower jaw, ears, deafness and tighening of the skin.
Dylan, from Glasgow, said: “I was born with this condition, but it did not become visible until I was 18 months old.
“My mum was seeing me drop a lot of weight and became understandably very worried.
“It took doctor’s 10 years in order diagnose me with this condition after constant visits because of its obscurity.
“There is only 12 other people in the world who have MDP besides me, but when we got the diagnosis, we were just relieved because we finally knew what it was.”
The condition’s physical effects have meant that Dylan has often experienced people staring or commenting on his appearance.
He added: “Growing up it has been really tough seeing people staring, laughing and treating me differently, but I have learned to not let it affect me as I have gotten older.
“I surround myself with those who support me and love me for who I am which is the best feeling in the world.”
Dylan wants to spread the message everyone should embrace who they are and do what makes them happy.
He added: “I am a lot more than just my condition, which is why I feel it is so important to share my story.”
“Nobody should ever be afraid of who they are, and it is important to just keep doing what makes you happy.
“Perseverance is key, never give up.”
MDP means Dylan can't take part in sports but has developed a passion for photography.
Dylan takes his inspiration from his city, capturing the essence of Glasgow through his perception.
He added: ”The weather may not be the best, but I love living in Scotland.
“I am certainly Glaswegian and proud, and I love showing what my city has to offer.
“When I take a photo, it stays with me forever and that feeling is just indescribable.”
MDP syndrome symptoms include:
- mandibular hypoplasia (a small lower jaw)
- tightening of the skin
- lipodystrophy (a reduction in fat under the skin)
- low testosterone levels in males
- contractures of the long tendons of the toes resulting in claw toes and joint stiffness
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