Zara Hartshorn,16, from Yorkshire, UK was born with a rare genetic condition called lipodystrophy. Only about 2,000 people in the world and barely 30 in the UK are said to be affected by the extremely rare disease. Zara herself has inherited it from her mom Tracey while her older sister Chloe doesn’t have it and looks like any other girl her age.
Because of her condition Zara’s skin lacks elasticity which makes it look all wrinkled and twisted. What is more, the disease can lead to lung and heart problems and even shorter life expectancy. Zara has been bullied and ridiculed all her life because of the way she looked. Other children were torturing her so much, that she even stopped going to school for a while. Once, she was made to get off the bus as the driver wouldn’t believe her she was eligible for a child’s pass as she looked middle aged. At school she was mistaken for a teacher a couple of times which gave her peers another opportunity to make fun of her.
Luckily, things are starting to look up for Zara. Thanks to a US plastic surgeon who had performed pro bono a pioneering type of facelift on her, Zara now looks much more like a girl her age should. Due to her new appearance Zara has gained a lot of confidence and is ready to go after the career she’s always wanted. But this is not the last of the good news : Zara met her new boyfriend Ricky Andrews, 22, a decorator through mutual friends several months ago and they’ve been together ever since. The girl states it’s the first time anyone has accepted her for who she was despite her condition.
Although she would always have her illness, Zara will at least be able to live a normal life feeling confident about herself. She said she wanted to forgive her tormentors and leave all the negative things in the past.Zara’s story is another example of how love can conquer all and one should never lose hope.