One 22-year-old woman has spoken out about the struggles she faces after a rare disease has left her stuck in the body of an eight-year-old girl for life.
Shauna Rae developed a rare form of brain cancer when she was just six months old and underwent chemotherapy that stunted her growth.
Shauna now stands at three-foot 10, the average height of an eight-year-old girl.
In her TLC documentary “I am Shauna Rae” she reveals the difficulties associated with her youthful appearance including finding it hard to date, and going to bars, as everyone thinks she is a child.
In the trailer for the show, Shauna introduces herself saying: “If you were to look at me, you would think I’m just a normal little girl, doing normal little girl things with my fun, crazy family.”
Adding: “But the truth is I’m not a little girl. I’m a woman, a 22-year-old woman stuck in the body of an eight-year-old.”
The show, which premieres on January 11th 2022, shows Shauna facing issues trying to do normal things that a 22-year-old woman does in everyday life.
We see Shauna get turned away from a bar when the bartender said “we don’t allow kids”, being asked how old she is when attempts to get a tattoo, and even being questioned about her age when she tries to sign up for a gym.
Shauna’s mother, Patricia “Patty” Schrankel also speaks on the documentary about the heartbreaking time when her daughter had brain cancer as a baby.
“Shauna was six months old when we found out she had brain cancer,” said Patty.
“I feel, I guess almost guilty, that she will have to go through this for the rest of her life, so all I can do is protect her” added Patty.
Shauna developed a rare form of brain cancer when she was just six months old and underwent chemotherapy that stunted her growth.TLC/YouTubeShauna enjoys doing activities other 22-year-olds do, but often garners strange looks due to her short stature.TLC/YouTubeShauna has been questioned about her age at bars, tattoo parlors and even gyms.TLC/YouTubeShauna explains exactly what happened after she went through chemotherapy, and how this affected her growth.
“My pituitary gland was rendered almost dormant because of the chemotherapy. The doctor told me I was done growing. My bones were fused, and my height is 3 feet and 10 inches” said Shauna.
Shauna also goes on to reveal how her dating life is affected, explaining that she is single, and always tends to attract the wrong kind of guys.
“I attract creeps, a**holes, and idiots. It is scary to put myself out there, but you have to put some risk in to get happiness” says Shauna.
The documentary shows her going on a blind date, with a guy who tells her he thought he was being “punked” when she introduced herself.
Shauna has taken up pole dancing lessons, gaining strange looks from people who think she’s a child.TLC/YouTubeShauna says she is looking to become more independent from her family and wants to be seen as an adult.
“I can’t go anywhere without them asking questions,” says Shauna.
As she gets ready to leave the house we see her stepdad Mark ask “who are you going to the brewery with? Who’s driving? When are you gonna be back?”
Her mum Patty said: “I don’t know if I am ready to let her go, but she needs to be let go.”
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.