In an attempt to possibly save lives including hers, Rochelle Pondare, recently flew from the Philippines all the way to Boston, Massachusetts to participate in an international research trial intended to test a drug that may lengthen the lives, if not completely provide treatment, to those suffering from progeria.
The extremely rare genetic condition, which reportedly only affects one in every four million, has made Pondare presently live as an 18-year-old while having her body think it is as old as 144 mainly because of a rapid ageing process. The lethal disease has also caused Pondare to stop from growing and losing all her hair, which made her decide to wear either bandannas or wigs as she goes on with her daily activities, like working for a family business and spending time with her friends.
With 14 years as the expected life span of anyone afflicted with progeria, Pondare has been considered a miracle case. But with the effects of the illness catching up with her, Pondare is now on a race against time to find a cure.
In her recent trip to the United States, Pondare took part in a series of medical examinations headed by the Progeria Research Foundation and Boston Children’s Hospital.
The new drug, Lonafarnib, is being trialed not only to Pondare but also to other progeria patients, which include a fellow Filipina named Kim. In a report by the Daily Mail UK, the Progeria Research Foundation confirms that these two young girls are among the 80 other children in other parts of the globe who all have to live through the ruthless affliction.
Pondare’s journey has also been documented by a TLC show, Body Bizarre, which followed her and her loved ones during such an emotional experience. Aside from showing how she plays a vital role in helping experts seek remedy for the fatal condition, the television series will also share the brave girl’s 18th birthday celebration.