Zara Hartshorn has lipodystrophy, which makes her look old before her time
For some folks, turning 50 can trigger a midlife crisis. But due to a cruel blow of nature, Zara Hartshorn is forced to deal with it at the tender age of 13.
Though barely a teen, Zara has the appearance of a 50-year-old, something that saps her confidence just when most young people are striving for self-esteem. The Rotherham, England, teen suffers from lipodystrophy, a syndrome that causes the supporting fatty tissue under the skin to crumble even while the skin continues to grow, often at an alarming rate.
The hereditary condition is extremely rare — only about 2,000 people around the world have it — and for Zara, it has devastating social effects.