22-year-old Shauna Rae looks like an 8-year-old girl. A consequence of brain cancer treated with chemotherapy when she was 6 months old.
Every time she walks into a bar, asks for a tattoo or decides to go to the gym, Shauna Rae gets the same refrain: “We don’t accept children.” Aged 22, this young American looks like an eight-year-old girl. A rare disability linked to brain cancer diagnosed at the age of 6 months, which completely stopped his growth. “My pituitary gland has become almost dormant due to chemotherapy. The doctors told me that I will not grow any more. My bones have fused and I am 1m17”, confides the young woman in I Am Shauna Rae, a documentary based on his story recently aired on the American channel TLC.
If the idea of never growing up may appeal to some, living as an adult in the skin of a child is far from being a piece of cake. “Shauna likes to dress like a 22-year-old, but when we go out she catches the eye. ‘Oh wow, what’s she doing? What’s that kid doing?’ I’m the one looking at like, ‘How can you? How can you let your child dress like that?’, says the young woman’s mother, Patricia “Patty” Schrankel. don’t believe and call her a liar, it’s not funny.”
“Little boys blush in front of me”
In addition to having to endure the judgment of adults, Shauna must also endure the gaze of the youngest. Because of her appearance, the young woman is considered by the children as one of their own, which sometimes leads to complex and embarrassing situations. “Going to the beach is complicated because there are children there, and I look like a child so I am treated as such, explains Shauna. Everywhere I go, children tell me hello, look at me, little boys are blushing in front of me. It’s very strange because children are attracted to me. I’m very embarrassed with boys, but not with girls. Girls understand a woman’s body much better . The boys tell me ‘Why do you have boobs?'”
In terms of love life, Shauna also has to deal with her disability. Single, she explains that she has difficulty finding a partner but remains hopeful of one day living a relationship as normal as possible. “I attract the poor guys, the assholes and the imbeciles. It’s scary to meet men, but you have to take risks to find happiness.” Does the truth come out of the mouths of adults?