Young brave ighter TAKES A BOW
Despite losing the battle against her disorder at 18, Ontlametse Phalatse never allowed the condition to stand in the way of fulfilling her dreams
ONTLAMETSE Phalatse recently passed away at the age of 18 due to progeria – a rare genetic disorder which causes accelerated aging. In her short-lived life, she managed to be one of the bravest people who beat the odds.
Ontlametse first made headlines when she appeared on e.tv’s investigative show, 3rd Degree.
No one actually knows how many children in the world have progeria. In 2009, Ontlametse was the first black child to be diagnosed with the disorder in the world and was one of the only two girls with progeria in South Africa.
But she never allowed her situation to stand in her way of fulfilling her dreams. She was a remarkable woman who was determined to achieve a lot in her short life.
Ontlametse, who called herself the first lady, wanted to live her dream. She once said that God put her on this world for a purpose, and she has now learnt to accept her condition.
Doctors told her that she would only live up to the age of 13, but she lived up to 18. For her final birthday, she received a gift she had always wanted.
A day before she turned 18, she met President Jacob Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and received a bouquet of flowers from him.
After hearing of her death, President Zuma also sent his condolences to Ontlametse’s family, calling her the special child of South Africa. “Our lives were touched when we met Ontlametse last month. She was very special indeed.”
CELEBRATING HER LIFE
Ontlametse’s death caught everyone’s attention, with some celebrities paying tribute to her.
Those who paid tribute include socialite Somizi