Why this 19-year-old looks like a 4-year-old
"She’s so happy all the time."
By Josie Adnitt via SWNS
Meet the 19-year-old who looks like a four-year-old due to a rare genetic phenomenon.
Dannia Shabbir could be the only female in the world living with chromosome translocation, her family says.
The condition means that the teenager, who is non-verbal, looks like a little girl and weighs just 17kg.
Sadly, this means some people have abused her mom Aleisha Almahari, 56, and auntie Kelly Shabbir, 39, when they use disabled spaces.
But, despite the challenges, her family says Dannia is easygoing and happy all the time - and enjoys jetting off to hot countries.
Aleisha said: “I’d like to raise more awareness for Dannia’s genetic makeup. This is who she is as a person.
“That’s the way God made her. She’s so easygoing, she’s so happy all the time and she loves people more than toys.
“The geneticist did full genetic testing after she was born and found it was chromosome translocation in chromosome 20.
"They said there were only 4 reported cases globally, all of those boys and she was the first girl.
"The boys have never survived and they don’t know and still don’t know what Dannia is going to do.”
Dannia was born smaller than average, with a low body temperature and low blood sugar.
Aleisha, from Fareham, UK, claims that when geneticists first came to look at Dannia and investigate the issue, they said, ‘Ooh, doesn’t she look funny’ - leaving her reeling.
Despite struggling to come to terms with the news after giving birth, the mom says Dannia has completely proved her wrong.
She was concerned she would be "lifeless" as she grew - but she says instead her daughter is easy-going, happy and smiley.
“Basically, she’s non-verbal and non-communicative," said Aleisha.
"When you’re pregnant you think, ‘When she gets to this age she’ll do this.'
“Because I didn’t understand it, I had a vision of Dannia being completely lifeless but actually she’s not like that."
The family claim to have had mixed reactions from people who do not know about or understand Dannia’s condition – including being filmed and shouted at for using disabled parking bays and even being removed from a plane.
Due to the nature of Dannia’s genetic makeup, she appears to passers-by to be toddler-age – and Aleisha says she has received vicious responses after using disabled parking bays, despite having a blue badge.
As Dannia’s wheelchair is similar in style to a pushchair, this further adds to the misunderstanding that the family experiences.
Aleisha said: “In public, people don’t know what is wrong with her – she's severely disabled and she can’t walk or anything, she’s got a blue badge.
“We get out of the car and get her version of a wheelchair and then we get verbally attacked by people saying we shouldn’t park there.
“I’ve had people so close to me that I couldn’t open the door, or people standing there with their cameras taking pictures of me.
“We were removed from a flight to Morocco because of her size – it was really awful and hugely embarrassing.
“We called before and explained we had a letter from her consultant saying she can’t sit unaided in an aircraft seat and would need to sit in a lap.
“They then decided because of her age she couldn’t sit in our lap and we needed to buy her a seat – but wouldn’t sell us a seat as she was deemed too small to sit in it.
“The captain came out and said he wasn’t happy, they unloaded our bags, got us off the plane and walked us all the way through the airport to the door.”
Even though it’s not always smooth sailing Dannia loves to travel, with Aleisha saying her favorite place in the world is ‘floating in a pool in Dubai.'
“She does really well in the heat, better than the cold,” said Aleisha.
“We take her everywhere, she’s been to so many places – her body temperature runs a degree below ours.
“She’s been in 50 degrees before with no problem, that’s just her.
"Being in Dubai floating around in the swimming pool was her favorite experience.”
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