A teen with an extremely rare disease that affects only 13 individuals worldwide is on a mission to raise awareness about it.
Dylan Lombard’s earliest symptoms of MDP – Mandibular Hypoplasia with Deafness and Progeroid Features – appeared when he was just 18 months old. After “continuous” doctor’s appointments, he was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease at the age of ten.
MDP syndrome is a rare metabolic condition in which fat tissue is not deposited beneath the skin. In other words, no matter what he does, Dylan will not gain weight.
The 18-year-old from Glasgow, Scotland, is dedicated to raising awareness about his illness. In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said:
“Seeing people stare, laugh, and treat me differently as I grew up was extremely difficult for me, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned not to let it bother me.”
The MDP syndrome is caused by a mutation in the POLD1 gene, which results in a faulty enzyme that is required for DNA replication.
The adolescent continued:
“I was born with this problem, but it didn’t show up until I was 18 months old.” My mother, seeing me lose a lot of weight, was naturally concerned.
Because of its obscurity, it took a doctor ten years to identify me with this ailment after numerous visits. Apart from me, there are only 12 other individuals in the world who have MDP, but we were really relieved when we got the diagnosis since we now knew what it was.”
Dylan’s unique illness has drawn a lot of attention and snide remarks about his appearance. He, on the other hand, is unaffected by the negative. He added:
“I’m surrounded by people who love and support me for who I am, and it’s the nicest feeling in the world.”
Dylan is now keen to spread awareness about MDP syndrome.
The Glasgow adolescent stated:
“I think I’ve reached a point in my life where I just want to assist educate people about my illness.” I enjoy sharing my experience and connecting with people from all around the world. When I do, I truly believe it makes me a stronger and more self-assured individual.”
Despite the fact that athletics are not one of Dylan’s strong suits, he has found a way to express himself through photography.
“When I was 15, my mother gave me my first camera, and I haven’t looked back; photography is the most amazing thing to me.”
The adolescent is also proud of his heritage and enjoys “showing off what [his] city has to offer.”
When asked about his homeland, the adolescent stated:
“Although the weather isn’t always ideal, I enjoy living in Scotland. I am a proud Glaswegian that enjoys showing off all my city has to offer. When I take a picture, it sticks with me for the rest of my life, and the experience is indescribable.”
Dylan offered the following advise to anyone who feels less than because of a medical problem or another insecurity:
“I am much more than my illness, which is why I believe it is so crucial to tell my experience.” Nobody should be ashamed of who they are, and it’s crucial to keep doing what makes you happy.
Perseverance is essential. “Never, ever give up.”