A brave Belgian man with a horrific ageing disorder that is also known as the Benjamin Button disease has celebrated his 25th birthday and says that he plans to make it to his 30th.
Michiel Vandeweert suffers from the extremely rare disorder progeria, which is a genetic illness that causes accelerated ageing.
When he was diagnosed, doctors reportedly said he would live to the age of 12.
But at 25, he is now reportedly one of the oldest people with the disease in the world; and he told local media that he plans to make it to 30.
Michiel, who has nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram, said: “I actually wanted to throw a big party, but open heart surgery decided otherwise.”
Instead, he celebrated the milestone with a smaller group of friends and family after his open heart surgery operation.
He said on Instagram: “Turning 25 today, grateful for all the people I got to meet, and all the things I got to do this past year.”
Progeria, which is also known as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, is a very rare, progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly, beginning when they are two years old or less.
Children with progeria typically appear healthy at birth. Severe cardiovascular complications tend to develop during puberty, leading to death.
Tiffany Wedekind of Columbus, Ohio, is currently 45 years old, making her the oldest person ever with progeria. The average lifespan for someone with progeria is 13 years.