Essay about Progeria: The Rare 'Aging Disease'

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The chance of having a baby with Progeria is about 1 in 4 – 8 million (“Progeria 101/FAQ"). That means that there are approximately 200-250 people diagnosed with Progeria in the world at any point in time (Progeria 101/FAQ"). Sam G. Berns was among that small amount until he passed away early this year, on January 14th, from complications of Progeria at the age of seventeen. He was an intelligent junior who attended Foxboro High School in Foxboro, Massachusetts. During his life, he reached the level of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts, was a percussion section leader in his high school band, spoke at two TED conferences, and was interviewed on national television (ABC and NPR). His hometown is a mere 10 miles from my own, causing me to learn…show more content…
The type of Progeria Sam had is called Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, “child Progeria” rather than Werner’s syndrome, also know as “adult Progeria”, that does not occur until late teens, resulting in longer lives into the 40’s-50’s (“Progeria 101/FAQ"). Progeria has a vast amount of symptoms that the majority of those suffering deal with as well as symptoms that are seen less often. Throughout early infancy, children with Progeria resemble normal infants’ physical appearance. Around age 1 or 2 they begin to display extreme growth delay causing them to be short, and have low weight. Their faces appear to be small compared to their head size; furthermore, their faces seem shrunken, wrinkled, and slender. Skulls will have visible veins along the forehead, nose-bridge, as well as the other areas across the head. Other symptoms include having a small jaw, delayed or failed tooth development, deformity of teeth with crowding, beaked nose, prominent eyes, brittle nails, dislocated hips, skeletal defects, and loss of hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes (Chandravanshi et al.). More damaging symptoms are atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), cardiovascular issues (strokes heart attacks), arthritis, and osteoporosis (“Progeria 101/FAQ"). The children who have Progeria are very similar in appearance with little effects from various ethnicities (“Progeria 101/FAQ"). Normally the complications of atherosclerosis lead to the deaths of the children around

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