Cian Cian is a five-year-old girl who lives with her grandparents in Chongqing, China since her parents divorced. Her life cannot be normal as she suffers from a condition known as Hypertrichosis, which is marked by a dense growth of hair all over the body.
Dubbed cruelly as Monkey Girl, the poor child’s face and body are always covered in thick black hair, which her guardians regularly shave to remove.
Doctors do not know much about this bizarre aberration of nature because the condition is extremely rare and affects one-in-a billion births. Physicians at Tongliang People’s Hospital, where Cian Cian was recently treated after suffering an epileptic fit, are at a loss as to treatment.
“There is nothing like this in her family going back three generations so it doesn’t appear to be genetic,” Doctor Chu Hongbo.
Scientists believe that a genetic defect, which profoundly affects the hair growth cycle, is responsible for this rare disease. The hair follicles run amok and cannot switch from growth to a dormant state.
Further, the “curse of the hair” is a mutation that may have been caused by the awakening of a primeval gene that was naturally lost during the course of human evolution.
Known as atavisms, doctors and biologists have witnessed these odd phenomena in nature in different ways. In rare instances, for example, children are born with a tail or additional nipples, which are identical to the rows of nipples normally found on mammals.
It is known that both men and women affected by the mutation pass on the defective gene to 50 percent of their offspring. The line ends in family members who are born with normal hair growth.
Cian Cian’s grandparents can no longer expose their grandchild to the public because of the way she is treated even by the other children at the kindergarten in their village.
“Even at kindergarten each morning, people look at her and ask me why she is so hairy. Questions like that make me feel very bad,” said her grandmother.
“I want to be a scientist when I grow up so I can find out what’s wrong with me,” says the very brave little Cian Cian whose personal burden is too much for any adult let alone a child to bear.
Hence, the terrible price paid for being born different.
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