This 21-year-old disabled woman has such brittle bones that she’s broken around 500 of them – some just by hiccuping.
Tiny Marie Holm Laursen, from Aarhus in Denmark, was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta – a genetic condition which causes bone fractures due to a lack of collagen – when she was seven days old. She’s confined to a wheelchair.
“I got the diagnosis when I was just one week old. The doctors tried to figure out why there was a weird popping sound in my legs when they made a specific movement,” says Marie, who’s now a motivational speaker.
“After a full body X-ray they discovered the sound was my bones breaking and that I had multiple breaks in my entire body, so they figured out that I had osteogenesis imperfecta.”
As a child she often got cruel comments and stares from others, but she’s fighting back by sharing her story with public talks to raise awareness of her condition.
She says her most frightening moment was when she fell from her wheelchair and struck her head, which caused bleeding on her brain.
“My bones are very fragile and I’ve broken about 500 bones in total. Even the hiccups can cause me to break a rib.
“My worst experience was in 2013 when I fell out of my wheelchair. I broke an awful lot of bones and had a brain bleed; the doctors didn’t know if I would make it and my condition was very critical.”
The 21-year-old recalls what it was like growing up with the condition and how it affects her day-to-day life.
“I had a really good childhood. Of course I got cruel comments sometimes and people would stare, they still do,” she says.
“The reason people stare is mostly out of curiosity, which is rooted in a lack of knowledge – which is one of the main reasons for me doing my talks.
“The condition affects me in my day-to-day life because of how fragile my bones are, and it can sometimes be more difficult for me to do stuff.
“Nevertheless, I find it very important not to limit myself because of the fear of breaking something. I need to live my life to the fullest and sometimes that requires me taking some chances.”
Marie says her friends and family have played a huge role in encouraging her to persevere.
“My friends and family have helped me a lot. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them.
“My biggest hope for the future is to get a family with a husband and kids. I find it very intimidating to say that out loud because I know it can be more difficult when you have a disability.
“I think it’s so important to dream big and not hold back because you’re afraid of failure. You can’t always choose your circumstances, but I believe it’s a choice we make to focus on either the negative things or positive things in life. I try to choose the positive.”
Source: Magazine Features