Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meet the Kids That Really Aren't Kids

I want to look older

February 10 2009 22:25 PST

If you look at this picture in front of you, you're probably saying to yourself, 'Awww, cute kids.' Well, the truth is, these kids are much, much older than they appear. That's right, these kids that probably don't look a day over five years old are 16 and 18 years old, respectively. I know. I was fooled too.
Azad Singh and Laxmi Yadav may be young adults now, but the reason why they look like this is because they never went through the process that every young adult goes through in the evolution towards maturity: puberty. While not having to put with acne, voice fluctuation, and menstrual cycles might seem like a cool thing, the side effect is that they don't physically mature. Both kids aren't much taller than 3 feet. That's crazy.
The siblings from Haryana, India are just kids who love cricket and want to do things regular kids do. They go to school, good grades, and have ambitions to go into fields such as engineering in Azad's case. Their condition makes it hard for them to enjoy certain freedoms that they would love to have, such as just being able to walk the streets alone.
Azad and Laxmi have a disorder that prevents their hormones from growing and developing, a condition that became apparent after they were five years old each. The hormones cost about £18 daily, but the family, who lives a modest life financially, cannot afford the potentially life-altering hormones. Their younger sister, Sonam, 12, did not have this disorder and is of normal height. Sometimes Sonam accompanies them outside to protect them from insults from others.
"When I go out, such as to walk to my tutor's house, my mum has to come with me," Azad said in an interview with Britain's The Sun. "People think I'm still a kid and need looking after."
"When we were younger our parents had to change our school because the other kids laughed at us because of our size," Laxmi said.
Last year, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi wanted to provide free treatment for the brother and sister, but Azad and Laxmi wound up feeling as if they were exhibits and not human beings and opted to decline the opportunity.
But when the Azad and Laxmi arrived at the hospital, crowds of patients, visitors, and even people from the street went into to the ward to stare at them.
"We could not face all those people," Laxmi said. "It was too frightening for Azad and me. We felt we would rather stay as we were than go through that. We decided we did not want the treatment, as doctors said there was only about a 40 to 50 per cent chance it would work."
It's at least good to see that the disorder isn't affecting their spirits. They seem like good people that just want to be known by who they are rather than how old they look. I definitely wish them all the best. Tell us your thoughts on this story. Are you surprised at how two teens can look so young? Let us know what you think!

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