Before the little bundle of joy that develops inside mommy’s belly is finally ready for them to meet, every parent must endure an exciting nine-month wait.
When the baby is eventually born and you hear it scream for the first time, there is just a no better sensation in the world.
But for some parents, the arrival of a kid can become something they never anticipated.
Mary and Brad Kish of Illinois, United States, patiently awaited the arrival of their daughter in the late 1990s.
Mary’s pregnancy had been trouble-free, and the delivery proceeded smoothly. Throughout Michelle’s delivery, there were no signs that anything was amiss with her.
But as soon as she opened her eyes, the medical professionals realized something was wrong. Before thoroughly researching the medical literature and speaking with a geneticist from another hospital, they had no idea what it was.
Michelle had a wide, innocent-looking face. She also had thinning hair and a nose that almost resembled a little beak.
It was discovered that she had Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, a genetic condition so uncommon that there are only 250 confirmed cases globally.
”No one had ever seen it in person at Children’s Memorial Hospital, where Michelle was born. When the doctor gave us the diagnosis of Hallermann-Streiff syndrome my heart sank. I was worried about how are we going to care for our child who had a rare genetic disorder that was one in five million,” Michelle’s mom explained.
The disease is characterized by 28 different symptoms, and Michelle suffers from 26 of them. The disease affects only one in five million people but sadly causes a lot of health problems.
In addition to Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, Michelle also suffers from a form of dwarfism which means that she barely reaches above her sister’s waist, despite the fact there’s only two years difference between them.
Michelle’s condition means she needs a lot of help and assistance – such as an electric wheelchair, hearing aid, probe, respirator, and visual aids.
The syndrome has also forced Michelle and her family to spend a lot of time in the hospital. She is often mistaken for being a child because of how she looks, even though she’s 25 years old today.
“Now Michelle is a 20-year-old woman, she is smart as a poodle and she is happier than ever. She is one of the happiest 20-year-olds I know,” mom Mary mentioned in 2018. She continued:
“She enlightens people’s lives with their joy. She knows she’s different but doesn’t let it break her down.”
Even though Michelle had to struggle against a headwind, she is an exceptional young woman.
She has several dreams, including acquiring a boyfriend and following in the footsteps of her older sister. Since practically everyone is taller than her, she is not concerned with his height, but she does wish he had long hair.
She aspires to be a doctor as well.