SABC News - Ontlametse Phalatse’s memorial service to take place on Wednesday:Tuesday 18 April 2017

Ontlametse Phalatse’s memorial service to take place on Wednesday

Tuesday 18 April 2017 08:53

Nomsa Mdhluli

Ontlametse Phalatse is considered a medical miracle as most children with progeria do not live past the age of 13. (SABC)

The memorial service for Ontlametse Phalatse will be held in Hebron village, north of Pretoria on Wednesday.

The eighteen-year-old died last week after losing her battle with progeria.

She was the only black teen in the world to be diagnosed with progeria, and will be buried on Friday at her home in Hebron Village, North of Pretoria.

Phalatse who suffered from the rare disease which causes premature aging, passed away on Tuesday.

She was invited to be a guest speaker at President Jacob Zuma's 75th birthday party on Wednesday.

Chairperson of the Ontlametse Phalatse Trust, Dr Babalwa Ka-Mabhoza, says the 18-year-old has been described as a medical miracle, as she was not meant to live beyond her 14th birthday.

Most children with Progeria do not live past the age of 13. The disease affects both sexes and all races equally. It affects about 1 in every 4 million births worldwide.  

Children with this rare genetic condition mostly look healthy when they are born, but they start to show signs of the condition during their first year.

They do not grow or gain weight normally. They develop physical traits including: a bigger head, larger eyes, a small lower jaw and hair loss that include eyelashes and eyebrows.

The family's representative, Tebogo Mothoa, says Ontlametse will be remembered for her approach to life, which was with positivity and courage.

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