A teenager’s life is all about fun, friends, fashion, first crush, second crush. The kids on this list have it much more challenging, and their lives are more about survival.

And they are making the most of their lives under extraordinary circumstances. They’re not looking for pity but acceptance.


10 /10 Rahma Haruna

When Rahma was born, she seemed a perfectly healthy little girl. However, when she was six months years old, her family started noting something strange.

The little girl’s body had stopped growing, but for her head, which developed naturally. Her family lives in a poor Nigerian village, and her father tried in vain to find what’s wrong with the girl, let alone find a cure.

Now a teenager, Rahma spends most of her time in a cheap plastic bowl, dependant on her family for her most basic needs. Her only joy – a tour of the village in the wheelchair, someone was kind enough to donate.


9 /10 Zara Hartshorn

At an age when most of her peers worry about zits, Zara Hartshorn has to wake up every morning and face the wrinkled old lady staring at her from the mirror.

Zara suffers from a rare condition called lipodystrophy. This means that the fat under her skin dissolves, leaving her face full of wrinkles.

As if this was not enough, she had to put up with years of relentless bullying. Her chance at an everyday life came in 2016 when she was offered free surgery to mitigate her condition’s devastating effects


8 /10 Nihal Bitla

Indian boy Nihal Bitla beat the odds and made it to his 15th birthday, which was not much fun, as he was no ordinary teenager.

Nihal suffered from progeria, and by the time he hit his teens, he looked like an older man and had to put up with many of the ailments that come with age.

He was known as a bubbly boy, and a vocal campaigner for people like him despite all that. His greatest hope was that someday there’s going to be a cure for this terrible disease. Sadly, he died shortly after turning 15.


7 /10 Luciana Wulkan

At first look, Luciana is a beautiful young girl and regular, but if you look closer, you’ll notice the unmistakable signs of a terrible condition that’s slowly killing her.

Luciana suffers from a disease that makes her muscles and tendons turn into bone. By the age of 16, part of her body, like her wrists and right hip, had already been locked into place by this terrible affliction.

She can barely move and has trouble eating. There is no cure for this disease, so it’s only a question of time until her body kills her.


6 /10 Ari Wibowo

Life is a nightmare for this Indonesian teenager who suffers from a condition that makes him shed his skin every 41 days.

Yes, just like a reptile. And it’s terrible as, before shedding, his skin becomes very dry and scaly.

To deal with his condition, the boy needs to bathe 20 times a day and continuously apply lotion to his flaking skin.

While his condition is known to medicine, although rare, the people in his village are convinced his misfortune was caused by his mother killing a lizard while pregnant.


5 /10 Hu Yuefang

She might look like a toddler, but Hu Yuefang is a teenager affected by an unknown disease that made her stop growing when she was about six years old.

On top of that, she has a small child’s mental capacity and can only say a few words. And, to add to her misfortune, her father died, and her mother abandoned her, leaving Hu in the care of her aging grandfather.


4 /10 Hunter Steinitz

The story of Hunter Steinitz gives a whole new meaning to the phrase thick-skinned. The teenager suffers from a condition that makes her skin thick, which provides her with the weirdest look.

And that’s not all, the rough patches of thick skin make it impossible for Hunter to close her eyes, and the hair cannot grow on her head.

She has to wear a wig to escape cruel taunts, but she tries to live like everyday life as possible.


3 /10 Arpit Gohil

Arpit doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve but his chest. Not in, but outside his ribcage. He was born with this genetic defect, so rare there are barely 100 similar cases known to modern medicine.

He’s managed to leave a reasonably everyday life so far, but he has to be extremely cautious. As just a thin layer of skin protects his heart, any blow or accidental fall could kill him.


2 /10 Mahendra Ahirwar

Mahendra lived a short and terrible life. The Indian boy was diagnosed with congenital myopathy at birth, which meant the muscles in his neck were so weak his head hang at 90 degrees.

At the age of 13, he was offered the chance to have surgery, and for a while, it seemed he might have a chance at everyday life.

For the first time in his life, he could hold his head up high. Unfortunately, he died a few months after the surgery.


1 /10 Fu Wengui

Chinese boy Fu Wengui suffers from congenital scoliosis, which causes his neck to have three extra vertebrae. It’s not just that he looked like a giraffe, and kids made fun of him.

The extra vertebrae were pressing on his nerves, leaving him in constant pain. When he was 15, doctors at a Beijing hospital decided to intervene and correct the abnormality, allowing him to have an everyday life.

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