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60 Pound Woman: Lizzie Velasquez Tells Her Story

8:50 AM, May 4, 2010   |    comments
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  • Lizzie Velasquez
  • Lizzie Velasquez shortly after her birth.
    

San Marcos, TX (WLTX) -- Lizzie Velasquez was born with a rare syndrome that causes her not to be able to gain weight. The syndrome is so rare, only two other people in the world are known to have it.

"I fight every single day," says Lizzie. "It's who I am. I would never change it. I've accepted it, and it makes me who I am." The 21-year-old college student at Texas State University was born with the rarest of syndromes.

"Basically, what it causes is that I can't gain weight, and there's only three people in the world, including myself, that have it," says Lizzie who weighs only 60 pounds, has zero percent body fat, and wears triple zero-sized clothing.

When she was born, she weighed two pounds 10 ounces. Immediately, Lizzie's parents knew something was wrong.

"I was so small that my parents had to buy me clothes from Toys-R-Us," says Lizzie.

Today, with her body being so small, her immune system will give out with slightest of colds. But Lizzie says it's nothing compared with trying to deal with the looks she gets from her peers and general public.

"Walking in public is like walking with an audience, because everybody will turn their heads and stare at me," says Lizzie. "A lot of people are afraid to get to know me, and I can't just go up to people and say, 'Hi, I'm Lizzie, how are you?', and things just go from there. With me, I have to say, 'Hi, I'm Lizzie. How are you? I have this syndrome. I'm normal.' And I have to explain everything." Lizzie hopes to graduate next spring, travel the world, and share her inspirational story with others who will listen.

"My point is to get my story across to people, not only my story, but for people to know if I can live my life the way I do know, you can too."

She also plans on writing a book about her rare syndrome. But for now, Lizzie just wants everyone to know she is normal, and that it's okay to be different.

"I don't think I'll ever overcome it. I think it's a process of dealing with things a day at a time, learning how to handle challenges and growing from what I'm having to go through. Just learning from each day and taking it to the next and just becoming stronger."

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