I was flipping through my magazine the other day when I stumbled across an article that caught my eye. The article was about a 13-year-old girl named Hana Hwang, who suffers from a rare disease called progeria. Progeria causes the body to age up to ten times faster than normal, which causes numerous problems with organs like the heart and the kidneys.
Because of this disease, Hana weighs only 20 pounds and is two feet tall, but has the organs of a ninety-year-old. The lifespan of someone with progeria is about 13 years old, which is Hana's age.
What I find truly inspirational about this story, however, is that despite so many obstacles, Hanna has an incredibly positive attitude. She works hard at schoolwork, makes arts and crafts, and even runs a website—all while she's at the hospital. Her biggest dream is to graduate high school and become a businesswoman. Recently, one of her other dreams came true—she got to meet her idol, Selena Gomez, who paid a visit to her at the Children's Hospital in L.A.
Hana's story has touched a lot of people. People from all over the world have posted support videos on YouTube, Tumblr, and Twitter.
Although Hana faces a great number of challenges each day, she doesn't let her illness stop her from living her life to the fullest and loving who she is. "I'm beautiful no matter what I look like—we all are," Hana says.
Hana is taking life one day at a time. "I just try to be happy and enjoy every day," she says.
For more on Hana's story, visit her website: www.hanahwang.com