British boy, 11, ages five times faster than his mates

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London, Apr 24 (ANI): Harry Crowther, 11, is growing old five times faster than his friends, but this has not dampened his spirits.

Harry has a rare genetic disorder, called atypical progeria syndrome, which means his body ages too fast.

He is already wracked with the early stages of arthritis and his skin has started to age.

Harry was born without any complications, but was diagnosed at a specialist medical centre in the US when he was seven, after undergoing tests.

He is one of only 16 people in the world with the condition. It is believed he is the only child in the UK to have the syndrome.

And his mother Sharon, a deputy manager at a preschool, has described her son's "derring-do" attitude to coping with the condition.

"He just gets on with life. Harry is in mainstream school, is very bright and loving and enjoys what most boys enjoy, this being Scouts, The Simpsons, Xbox 360, Wii, swimming and riding his bike," the Scotsman quoted her as saying.

Recently, Harry was presented with the chief scout's commendation for meritorious conduct at Windsor Castle, following a St George's Day parade, "in recognition of his cheerful determination to continue scouting despite having to cope with many difficulties - his positive attitude is a true inspiration to others".

"I can do a lot of things other children can do, but sometimes it stops me doing what I like doing because I ache," said Harry.

"It feels weird and hurts most when I'm in bed. I get upset when people who don't know me stare, and its annoying going to hospitals," he added.

His mother added: "He knows what is going to ache and he knows his body. He knows what is happening to him."

"He knows what activities he can do so he will do them for a short period of time. At the end of the day, he is a normal happy little chappy. He just gets on with his life."

"It's just a sit-and-wait game. Because the change in Harry's gene is unique, doctors cannot say what's going to happen," she said. (ANI)

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