Meet Stephanie Turner. The twenty two year old suffers from a rare skin condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis, which causes her skin to grow at a rate ten times faster and thicker than the skin of people without the illness. This leads to her skin cracking and blistering, and also puts her at greater risk of infection. It goes without saying that it is also extremely painful. But despite suffering with Harlequin Ichthyosis, Stephanie has not let her illness get in the way of living her life.
She’s battled against all odds to become the first person with Harlequin Ichthyosis to give birth to not one, but two healthy children. First came her son, Willy, and now she has announced the birth of daughter Olivia. Pregnancy is particularly dangerous for sufferers of Harlequin Ichthyosis because the skin around the pregnancy bump stretches the sufferer’s armor-like skin to breaking point, and it can often tear and lead to infection that can spread to the unborn infant.
But despite all this, Stephanie has gone against the odds, defiantly looked her illness straight in the eye and gifted the world two healthy, happy children. And best of all, neither suffers from the illness their mother is stricken with because both parents need to be carriers to pass the disease on.
It just goes to show that even in the face of extreme adversity, some people will go that extra mile and even put their own lives at risk to secure a happy ending and fulfill their hopes and dreams. Congratulations, Stephanie!