This little girl has big, beautiful eyes because of a rare genetic condition
Mehlani Ramirez is two years old, and has big, beautiful eyes due to a rare genetic condition called Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome. According to the US Library Of Medicine, affected individuals have abnormalities in their facial features, such as a broad nasal bridge, a flattened mid-face and a prominent forehead. However, it's primarily an eye disorder. People with this syndrome may have widely spaced eyes, an off-center pupil or an iris that appears like multiple pupils.
Every parent worries about their children when they leave the nest and have to fend for themselves. When you're different from the perceived norm, you attract attention. Right now Mehlani attracts positive attention from strangers out in public, but what if she starts attracting attention from bullies and trolls? Her mom, Karina, posted a photo of her daughter on Twitter, and shared her fears about her future.
"Everytime were out & a stranger compliments on how big & beautiful her eyes are, I have a mental debate on whether or not I should mention her defect. I decide no, smile & say thank you. I’m always left with a weird feeling. I just pray she’ll always know how beautiful she is."
"I get so nervous thinking about her starting school. What if other kids are mean about her eyes & she gets made fun of? What if she starts to hate her unique gorgeous eyes? It makes me want to cry thinking about it because she’s so strong & sweet & been through so much already"
The internet can be a cruel place sometimes, but it can also be sweet and wholesome. Karina's heartfelt tweet went viral, and thousands of strangers wrote supportive messages @CotyClack tweeted, "Looks like cute kid syndrome to me. Doing great mom!" @Chynnajo wrote, "She’s gorgeous. She’s a strong little gal and she’s lucky to have you as her mommy. Just perfect." And one mother shared photos of her own child, who suffers from a similar condition, and also had to undergo surgery at a young age.
Touched by the messages, Karina shared more photos of Mehlani. The first five months were rough, because she had to undergo surgery. "The surgery wasn’t to correct her eyes," Karina explained, "it was done bc her drainage canal was malformed & it was making the pressure in her eyes really high, & causing damage to her optic nerves so she got artificial drainage canals put in to help keep the pressure down & the surgery has been successful so far! Her vision is ok right now but We still don’t know what her vision will be like in the future just taking it day by day & taking her to her routine check ups!"
Throughout the ordeal, Mehlani has stayed strong. If she could handle those first five months, she can probably handle anything. Karina thanked Twitter for the support, and posted a cute video of Mehlani thanking them as well. (Although, at two years old, she has no idea what Twitter is.)
"Im seriously overwhelmed with all of the love my princess is getting," Karina tweeted. "you guys are literally making me tear up! ... I’ll just remind her — I already do — how beautiful she is. I’ll just tell her God made her that way for a reason. Everybody has something that makes them different."