Barbara Walters reports on Lindsay Ratcliffe, Kaylee Halko and Haylee Okines, three vibrant young girls who suffer from progeria, an extremely rare and fatal disease characterized by rapid aging in children. It is rare; of every 4-to-8 million births worldwide, only one baby will have progeria, according to the Progeria Research Foundation. So far, 80 children around that world currently have been identified and diagnosed with progeria. On average, children with the disease die at age 13.
More Information on Progeria:
The Progeria Research Foundation: The group's mission is to find a cure and effective treatment for progeria.
Find the Other 150 Campaign: The campaign -- recently launched by the Progeria Research Foundation -- seeks to find the other 150 progeria children around the world that scientists believe exist so they can have access to care, participate in clinical trials and get support from other families of children with the disease. Since 20/20 first reported on the issue last year, a dozen new children have been identified.
Connect with Lindsay, Kaylee and Hayley
Seven-year-old Lindsay Ratcliffe of Flat Rock, Mich., lives inside a body that is biologically older than that of her grandmother. Lindsay showed no signs of progeria at birth. She was diagnosed with the disease about four months later. Now, Lindsay is another first grader, who loves playing with ponies, Legos and running. But at just 20 pounds and 36 inches, her physical limitations make it hard for her to keep up with her classmates.
CLICK HERE to visit Lindsay's website.
Kaylee Halko, 8, is only three feet tall and weighs 24 pounds. Her family describes the pint-sized girl as fearless with a larger-than-life personality. Despite the limitations from her progeria, she loves to dance especially hip-hop, dreams of being a TV star and lives by the motto "Be Fabulous!" Despite the limitations from her progeria, she attends cheer dance school to feed her love of dance, and rides the school bus with her peers. For parents Marla and Tim Halko, the ultimate goal is for Kaylee to live a full and happy life like her three brothers.
The Halkos hope that the ongoing clinic trials and research will unlock the secrets to their daughter's medical mystery and the process of normal aging. Every year they hold a walk-a-thon, called Kaylee's Course, to raise money for the Progeria Research Foundation. For information on Kaylee's Course click here.
CLICK HERE to visit Kaylee's website.
13-year-old Hayley Okines of Great Britain is one of the oldest surviving children with progeria in the world. Although she lives in the shadow of the ever present threat of death, this petite fashionista loves photography, attending high school and Justin Bieber. Hayley says she is seeing promising results from a progeria drug trial; she and her family are confident that Hayley will prove the doctors wrong and have a long bright future.
CLICK HERE to visit Hayley's website.