Benjamin Button: The story of a man born old and age backward (True story)

As a child, Daisy meets Benjamin Button who suffers from a rare ageing ailment wherein he ages backwards. They keep in touch as she gets older and he turns younger.

A book with a seemingly fictional character was published in 1922 by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was the story of a man born old who aged backwards and dies young. This was called ‘the curious case of Benjamin Button’. This became very popular at the production of the movie in 2008.

Many had thought it was mere story that was never real, and of course the movie was based essentially on a fantasy that recreates the flavour of Forrest Gump. You may have to watch the film for it’s curious flavour, as we would only be talking about the disease as a reality of our time rather than fiction/fantasy.

The disease Benjamin Button is commonly known as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS). Progeria is a progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly.

Benjamin Button progeria disease

The disease is not sex or gender based.  It affects about 1 in every 4 million births worldwide. So its noticeably scarce.

A single mistake in a certain gene causes it to make an abnormal protein. When cells use this protein, called progerin, they break down more easily. Progerin builds up in many cells of kids with progeria, causing them to grow old quickly.

Progeria is not inherited, or passed down in families. Most kids with progeria look healthy when they’re born, but they start to show signs of the disease during their first year. Babies with progeria do not grow or gain weight normally.

A few cases of Benjamin Button disease are as seen below:

Sam Berns:

Sam Berns

He became the face of Progeria ‘Benjamin Button disease’, died at the age of 17. His parents, Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns, reacted to his diagnosis by creating the Progeria Research Foundation in 1999 to find the cause of the disease and a cure. Source ABCNews

Devin Scullion:

Devin Scullion

Lived in Hamilton, and one of the oldest to have lived with the disorder. He died at the age of 20 in 2017.

Hayley Okines:

Harley Okines
Lived in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. Her condition was diagnosed at the age of two, when her parents were told that she would probably not live past 13,  but eventually died at 17 years old. Source Independent.co

This rare genetic disorder affects only 1 in 4000000. No treatment is effective to cure progeria. Doctors usually treat these patients to reduce complications like risk of cardiovascular diseases with bypass surgery or low aspirin doses. These patients are also advised to take a high energy diet, stay well hydrated and do regular physical activity. People around progeria patients should treat them equal and boost their morale.

Do you know of any uncommon disease you would like to share? Kindly share by commenting or post a new topic/question about it.