We all know the teenage years of a child’s life is filled with change, but not usually like this. A 16-year-old girl named Nana in Jinhua, Zhejiang province — photographed above on October 11 – has been suffering from aplastic anemia for two years, according to Xinhua, and undergoing potent drug therapy. One of the side effects, unfortunately, has been hirsutism: abnormal hair growth on the face and body. Global Times provides us with these details:
Her parents have spent 300,000 yuan ($47,800) on her medical treatment, but the side effects of the medicine have led to beard and body hair growth. Though the family have spent their savings to fund her treatment, her health has not improved. She is continuing the drugs and enduring the side effects.
It’s a sad story, made more so because it seems Nana wants to pursue a normal life, which includes going to school. Via Xinhua (link above, Chinese):
“She cries every day wanting to go to school, it’s very worrisome,” said Chen [her mother]. She doesn’t have any extravagant hopes, just hopes that the child can get well soon and go to school like any normal person.
Nana, who was pulled out of school in 2010, is rarely seen around town. We’re told that she goes out wearing a mask.
While one can wonder why she doesn’t just shave, it’s obvious that hirsutism is an affliction one would wish only on your worst enemies, and only if you were an asshole.
The mother says that doctors told the family that Nana will be cured within three years, but that “we don’t have the money and are always reducing the amount of drugs, so the treatment will be slow. If the cure works and she stops taking the drugs, she will return to normal.”
Sobbing while telling her story, she adds, “Can you know how heartbroken I am? Such an obedient child, her father and my biggest dream for her is to send her to college. Now the money is gone, the illness is without end, we can only treat with drugs, her body’s hair can’t be shed — the child’s father and I really are helpless.”