A WOMAN, 22, who’s disease has left her stuck in the body of an eight-year-old for life has revealed the struggles she faces in daily life, including little boys developing crushes on her.
Shauna Rae from the US developed a rare form of brain cancer when she was just six months old and underwent chemotherapy that stunted her growth.
Standing at just three-foot 10, the average height of an eight-year-old girl, Shauna finds herself constantly mistaken for a child, which can prove difficult when out and about.
In the most recent episode of her TLC’s documentary, I Am Shauna Rae, she explained that going to the beach is especially tricky.
Shauna says: “When I think beach I think bathing suits and bathing suits, they’re fine
“It’s difficult because now that I do have maturity in my chest, I need padding and no children’s swimsuits have padding and the bottoms are even worse.
“They’re uncomfortable somewhere, if they don’t work on the bottom they work on the top if they don’t work on the top they work on the bottom.”
Aside from wardrobe malfunctions, Shauna dreads a trip to the beach because of the attention she attracts from kids.
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“The beach can also be challenging because there are kids there and that’s a whole other thing because I look like a child and I’m treated like a child,” she says.
“Everywhere I go I have children waving to me saying hi, looking at me, I have little boys blushing at me.
“It’s really weird because children are just drawn to me.
“Usually when a kid comes up to me I am respectful, if they wanna colour I’ll colour with them but I usually make sure it’s OK with their parents because usually the parent understands I’m a little older than the kid thinks.”
While Shauna has no problem interacting with little girls, she finds boys far more awkward.
Shauna adds: “I feel extremely awkward around boys, I don’t feel awkward around girls. Girls seem to be more understanding of the human body and what happens to females.
“Boys are like ‘why do you have bom-boms?’”
The documentary shows Shauna facing issues trying to do normal things that a 22-year-old woman does in everyday life.
We see Shauna get turned away from a bar when the bartender said "we don't allow kids", being asked how old she is when attempts to get a tattoo, and even being questioned about her age when she tries to sign up for a gym.
Everywhere I go I have children waving to me saying hi, looking at me, I have little boys blushing at me
Shauna's mother, Patricia "Patty" Schrankel also speaks on the documentary about the heartbreaking time when her daughter had brain cancer as a baby.
"Shauna was six months old when we found out she had brain cancer," said Patty.
"I feel, I guess almost guilty, that she will have to go through this for the rest of her life, so all I can do is protect her" added Patty.
Shauna explains exactly what happened after she went through chemotherapy, and how this affected her growth.
"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 3 feet and 10 inches" said Shauna.
Shauna also goes on to reveal how her dating life is affected, explaining that she is single, and always tends to attract the wrong kind of guys.
"I attract creeps, a**holes, and idiots. It is scary to put myself out there, but you have to put some risk in to get happiness" says Shauna.
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