Lifestyle

Woman, 22, stuck in body of 8-year-old after cancer treatment stops her growing

A 22-year-old woman has revealed the struggles she faces living in a 3ft 10in “body of an eight-year-old” after her cancer treatment at a young age had a lasting impact.

Shauna Rae was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer when she was just six months old but, thankfully, was able to beat it after undergoing treatment.

But the treatment itself had a rather extreme side-effect – it stopped her growing at the speed a normal youngster her age would do.

The chemotherapy left her pituitary gland – which regulates growth in a person’s body – “almost dormant”.

It meant that Shauna remained looking far younger than she actually was and has never grown more than four feet.

New TLC documentary I Am Shauna Rae centres on her life, in which she explained: "I'm a woman, a 22-year-old woman stuck in the body of an 8-year-old.

“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 three feet and 10 inches.”

Shauna reveals in the doc how she is desperate to be treated like a grown up.

In one scene, she is seen being told to leave a bar after those working there mistakenly assume she is a child.

“I am working on my independence,” she says.

The 22-year-old signs up to an online blind dating platform but, when she does go on a date axe-throwing, her appearance throws her other half.

“I thought I was being Punkd or something at first,” he said.

Her parents also emotionally speak about their daughters’ struggles.

Through tears, her mum says: "She will have to go through this for the rest of her life. So all I can do is protect her.”

I Am Shauna Rae airs on TLC on January 11.

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