Thursday, May 2, 2019

One-in-a-million condition forces blogger to shun sunlight and live like a vampire

Most 26-year-old's love chilling out in the sun with their friends. But for courageous blogger Andrea Ivonne Monroy the sun's rays could cost her her life.

The 26-year-old is forced to shun sunshine and instead lives like a vampire, only able to go out under cover of darkness.

Her terrible one-in-a-million genetic condition has also forced her into an early menopause.

Andrea Ivonnesuffers from xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), which means her skin can't repair DNA damage caused by sunlight.

On the rare occassions where she is forced to go out during the day for a medical appointment she must cover up or risk skin cancer .

People with the devastating condition have an average life expectancy of just 37.

Yet Andrea Ivonne, who lives with her parents in San Diego, California, where there are on average 146 sunny days and 117 partly sunny days a year, refuses to see XP as a handicap.

She said: "I just love being this human that I am.

"I'm complete with the human I am. I'm complete with everything I am and what I have.

"I am in the menopause, as women who have what I have go through the menopause faster than women without it, but I don't want to have children. I wasn't born to be a mother.

"You don't need a significant other to be complete. You don't need a child to be complete or to be a woman.

"I'm fulfilled because of who I am, the person I've become and I just love what my life is."

Having XP means the home Andrea Ivonne shares with her parents, Martin and Maria, must be kept dark during the day with curtains that block out UV light.

The family can only use LED lightbulbs inside and Andrea Ivonne has to carry a light meter with her and wear a protective hat and mask if she does leave the house.

“I read of lot of inspiring books and took up yoga and meditation, and now I am happy in a way I never thought I could be.

“I never imagined I would be working as a blogger or have my own YouTube channel and so I think it was all just meant to be.

“If I think about my life five years from now, I want it to be just as it is now. I am happy and I want to stay that way.”

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