20 year old toddler
-Toddler is 20 Years Old, and Forever Young, Due to Baffling Medical Condition
Brooke Greenberg may be 20 years old, but she remains forever trapped inside the body and mind of a toddler, due to a mystery medical condition that has baffled medical experts for years.
"From age one to four, Brooke changed. She got a little bit bigger," explained her father, Howard, during the family's appearance on Thursday's "Katie" with Katie Couric. "But age four, four to five, she stopped."
Since then, Brooke's height and weight of 16 pounds and 20 inches have remained a constant. She wears diapers, is pushed in a stroller, gets fed through a feeding tube due to a too-small esophagus, and communicates like an infant would, estimates her mother Melanie.
"Like 6 months," she explained on the show. "If she's happy, she'll giggle and laugh."
Doctors have told Melanie and Howard, who live in Maryland, that there is no other known case like Brooke's in the world. And at least one medical expert believes that Brooke's condition could hold the key to the fountain of youth.
"Here's a woman 20 years old who has literally stopped aging," explained Dr. Eric Schadt, director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multi-Scale Biology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York, who also appeared on the broadcast. He said he took an interest in Brooke's case after years of her receiving no diagnosis from other doctors, and that her case could "blow a whole field of science wide open."
This is exactly why the Goldberg family has made the decision to go public with their story, Howard told Yahoo! Shine. "The reason we are doing it isn't to put my family on television," he said. "Finding out that her DNA makeup is completely different than anyone else's brought to our attention that we could help. So eventually, at the end of the rainbow, there will be something that comes out of all this. I believe everyone is here for a reason."
Howard and Melanie provide care to Brooke day in and day out, and have watched their younger daughter, 17-year-old Carly, eclipse her older sister by developing normally over the years. They admit they have often felt isolated in their struggle.
"It hasn't been easy," Melanie told Couric. "We don't have anybody really to turn to, to tell us what to expect." Doctors have no way to even determine how long Brooke may live.
Still, her parents say they take solace in the fact that she's here now, and believe she does not need to be cured of anything.
"If somebody knocked on the door right now and said, 'It's a guaranteed pill. Give this to Brooke and she'll be fixed,' well first I would say to him, 'She's not broken.' And B, I would say, 'Thank you, but no thank you," Howard said in a video filmed for the "Katie" show.
To research Brooke's condition, scientists are reading every single letter of the young woman's DNA. "That would fill, like, 3,000 of the Harry Potter books that my kids like. That's how big her genome is," Dr. Schadt explained, adding that, so far, scientists have put her genes in fruit flies to see if it helps them live longer. He added that the Greenberg's take solace in the fact Brooke has also helped with research into conditions including Alzheimer's, heart disease and cancer.
"That," he said, "is a pretty amazing gift to be able to give to humanity."
When I'm writing in my room
It's like a child that's fighting in the womb
- KP -
how fast did she age from 1 to 4 though. she still talks like an infant and is very light so she must have barely aged.
- 20 year old toddler passes away
The baffling case of Brooke Greenberg, a 20-year-old who never developed beyond the toddler stage, may provide clues to help scientists unlock the secrets of longevity and fight age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and heart disease. Brooke, who passed away last Thursday, had the body and cognitive function of a 1-year-old. She didn't grow after the age of 5 — and basically, she stopped aging entirely.
"Brooke Greenberg, even after her sad passing, may help to reveal answers to one of the major mysteries in human biology: Why do we age and is there any way to slow or suspend the aging process?" Dr. Eric Schadt, director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, tells Yahoo Shine.
Brooke may have been the only person in the world suffering from a mysterious genetic disease that her doctors called Syndrome X. "Finding out that her DNA makeup is completely different than anyone else brought to our attention that we could help," her father, Howard Greenberg, told Yahoo Shine in a previous interview. "So eventually, at the end of the rainbow, there will be something that comes out of all this. I believe everyone is here for a reason."
Brooke's growth was erratic in the womb. "One month she would be fine, one month she would just stop and play catchup," Brooke's mother, Melanie, told NBC Dateline. She was born a month prematurely, weighing only 4 pounds, and suffered from a rare form of hip dislocation that required surgery. Nevertheless, during her first year, Brooke's parents thought she would grow up and have a normal life. However, between ages 1 and 6, Brooke suffered a number of medical emergencies, including perforated stomach ulcers, a seizure, and a stroke — and she also stopped growing. Her parents consulted many specialists, but none could diagnose any endocrine or chromosomal abnormalities. Instead, doctors prescribed human growth hormone, which ultimately failed.
After Brooke's case caught Dr. Schadt's attention, his team began sequencing her DNA, looking for specific mutations related to her condition. He explained that by using stem cells taken from Brooke's skin, scientists can continue to study the special genes and other biological factors they identified, "seek to determine how they are involved in aging-related processes, and whether this new knowledge could help increase longevity and/or reduce aging-related disorders." He added, "Brooke’s contribution to human well-being ultimately could be a reduction in our overall disease burden — a gift to modern medicine and humanity.”
While Brooke's mysterious condition may lead to amazing scientific discoveries, on a quieter and more intimate level, she also leaves behind an inspiring legacy of unconditional love. "While the outside world may have noticed Brooke's physical stature and been puzzled by her unique development state, she brought joy and love to her family," Rabbi Andrew Busch, who spoke at her funeral on Sunday, told the Daily News. Throughout her life, her parents and three sisters cherished her and showered her with affection. She loved to be cuddled and tickled, and the Greenbergs said she developed a strong identity and a rebellious streak. When her younger sister, Carly, was born, she became jealous, like any other child would be, her parents said. And, despite the challenges the family faced over the years, their devotion never wavered. "The older she gets, it's unbelievable…everybody just wants to hold her," mother Melanie Greenberg told WBAL. Her dad called her "his angel."