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What is Progeria?

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is an extremely rare genetic condition which causes physical changes that resemble greatly accelerated aging in sufferers. The disease affects between 1 in 4 million (estimated actual) and 1 in 8 million (reported) newborns. Symptoms generally begin appearing around 18-24 months of age. The condition is distinguished by limited growth, loss of hair and a characteristic appearance with small face and jaw and pinched nose. Later the condition causes wrinkled skin, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular problems. Mental development is not affected.

The development of symptoms is comparable to aging at a rate eight to ten times faster than normal, although certain age-related conditions do not occur. Currently, there are approximately 40-45 known cases in the world. There is no known cure, and most children with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria do not live past the age of 16.

 When able, Sunshine Foundation brings children from around the world who are suffering from this rare disorder together for a week filled with fun and friendship at Sunshine Foundation's Annual Progeria Reunions.

 

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