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One young woman gives a new twist to the definition of a “precocious child”. It’s one thing to act out fantasies about being older than you really are. However, it would be a monumental challenge if the problem existed in reverse.

For a 22-year-old woman, that’s exactly the life she must live. When Shauna Rae was an infant, she was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer. Through medical treatments, Shauna’s cancer was cured.

However, the treatments caused irreparable damage to her pituitary gland. She has what is medically referred to as “pituitary dwarfism”. The cancer treatments produced a dramatic change in how she developed physically.

Shauna Rae is literally a 22-year-old woman stuck in the body of an 8-year-old child. At 22, she stands only 3’10” tall. At first glance, anyone would immediately assume she is a kid. But she’s not. Inside, Shauna Rae is a mature young adult woman.

She longs to do the same things that a normal 22-year-old does. Nevertheless, to avoid the insensitivity from unknowing people, she cannot. Shauna seldom dresses up as she would prefer. She rarely wears makeup and limits what little makeup she does occasionally use.

Her reasons aren’t to protect herself from criticism. Shauna says she sees the strange stares people give to her mom. She insists she can see judgmental looks in people’s eyes. The looks seem to say, “How could you? How could you let your child dress like this?”

Her mother, Patty, feels guilty that her daughter must experience this for the rest of her life. It must be heartbreaking for a mom. Patty lamented, “It doesn’t seem like there’s going to be a time that it’s going to be okay or is going to be normal for her.”

Shauna insists she feels horrible for her mom because Patty is the one that bears the brunt of unjustified public scorn. She’s the one who people wrongly judge. Shauna Rae’s heartfelt story will air at 10:00pm, Tuesday, on Discovery’s TLC.

I am Shauna Rae” will tell the world her story. It will be a compassionate account of how vicious society can be. Shauna will reveal what it’s like to be a full-grown, emotionally mature 22-year-old woman, stuck in the body of an 8-year-old child.


Daniel is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and amateur theologian. He writes about topics of politics, culture, freedom, and faith.

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