When Linda gave birth to Tiffany and Chad three years apart, she had no clue she carried the progeria gene.
Linda had never experienced any symptoms of progeria, a debilitating genetic mutation often referred to as the “Benjamin Button” disease. It causes the body to age much faster than the average person.
Both Tiffany and Chad were born with the condition, but they looked healthy and normal at birth.
As they grew older, Linda couldn’t help but notice that the siblings were much shorter and smaller than their classmates. Still, no one thought much of it.
It wasn’t until Chad began suffering from heart problems and frequent broken bones that doctors took things more seriously.
There are only 156 reported cases of progeria, according to the Progeria Research Foundation, and it’s pretty rare for those who have it to live past the age of 12.
Chad died from the disease at the age of 38. The family instantly feared that his older sister, Tiffany, would suffer the same fate.
Experts believe Tiffany, who is now 41 years old and living in Ohio, could very well be the oldest living person with progeria.
Progeria has caused Tiffany to experience tooth decay, hair loss, wrinkled skin, joint stiffness, and heart problems, among other issues — but the loss of her brother opened her eyes to life’s vast possibilities.
As you’re about to see, this incredible and inspiring woman lives her life as normally as possible. She doesn’t consider herself a miracle, but the medical community begs to differ.
This story originally appeared at LittleThings.