"I'm a normal girl" - Beandri Booysen wants to be the oldest person living with progeria

"I'm a normal girl" - Beandri Booysen wants to be the oldest person living with progeria

14-year-old Beandri Booysen is one out of 125 people living with progeria - and her biggest dream is to become the oldest person living with this syndrome. 

Rian van Heerden
Jacaranda FM

Beandri Booysen (14) from Doornpoort, Pretoria, is certain that she will be the oldest person living with progeria.

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Booysen is further hoping that by the time she turns 29, she will be married, given birth to twins, have her dream job of being a teacher and drive her favourite car, a Mini Cooper.


Progeria, also known as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), is a rare genetic condition that causes a child's body to age fast. Most kids with progeria do not live past age 13. The disease affects both sexes and all races equally. It affects about 1 in every 4 million births worldwide.

According to reports, the oldest living with progeria was South African Leon Botha, that died at age 26 in 2011.


With her bubbly personality, Booysen might not like other young girls, but she doesn't let her condition keep her back from living her life. She joined The Scenic Drive team to share more about her life.

"My birthday is on the 20th of November. For my birthday I would like to go to New York and Singapore.

"It is so pretty there - I want to experience everything."  

"I left school two years ago. I visit my friends once a week at school - just to catch up."

"I read a lot - I don't like English books. I read teenager books."

"People think I'm different. Yes, I look different but I'm a normal girl." 

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