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Sweet Dreams

I have been living with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, better known as progeria, for fourteen years, nine months, and eleven days. I am currently fourteen years, nine months, and eleven days old. I have lived one year, nine months, and eleven days longer than the average person with progeria. I am most likely going to die of progeria within the next year. I am only fourteen years old, yet I could pass for an eighty-year old. I am only fourteen years old, yet somehow my body is failing me.

I've been home schooled since I was ten years old, when my I came home crying because the kids at school made fun of me. During class these days, I find my mind drifting further and further from the topic at hand, whatever it may be. I find myself wondering what death feels like, what heaven is like, whether there is such a thing as reincarnation. I don’t know, but I’ll surely find out soon.

I don’t want to be defined by my my disorder. I don’t want to be pitied because of it. I do, however, want I want to live past the age of fifteen, I want to fall in love, I want to travel the world. I want to know what it feels like to live--to really and truly live. I want a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean I will get to see my dreams come true.

I have come to accept the fact that I will not get to live as long as other people my age, but more than anything, I do not want to die of progeria. I refuse to let the disease that has ruled my life since the day I was born conquer me. If I die, I want it to be on my own terms...You know, there are many more ways to die than you might think. Pills, poisons, knives, guns, and--of course--diseases. The latter cannot kill me if I do it first. Which is why, ten minutes before typing this very letter, I downed an entire bottle of my mother’s prescription sleeping pills.

I can feel myself slipping away. In a few moments, I will be free of my old bones, my eighty-year old body. All I can think about, in my final seconds, is how incredibly peaceful death is.



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