A brave Kilkenny woman has gone public to reveal her torment at being trapped in a 12-year-old’s body – at the age of 25.
Kate Quinn from the village of Mooncoin suffers from a rare medical condition called Caudal Regression Syndrome (CRS) which results in an abnormal development of the lower spine.
Speaking to the Irish Independent newspaper, Kate has revealed her wish to be like other women her age.
Instead, the rare disease, which affects one in 25,000 people worldwide, has ensured she has never hit puberty, never had regular periods and never needed to buy a bra.
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Opening her heart to the paper, Kate has also admitted that she believes she’ll never find love until she becomes a "real" woman.
Only diagnosed with the CRS condition two years ago, Kate is the only known sufferer in Ireland. She hopes her decision to go public will attract the attention of an expert who can help her.
Doctors believe the fact that Kate, 4’9” tall and trapped in a 12-year-old’s body, hasn’t gone through puberty is a side effect of her condition.
The paper states that, baffled by her illness, doctors have told Kate that the lack of hormone production is not usually related to the condition but could have been caused by the strain placed on her body by the CRS.
Having endured daily injections for seven years now, Kate is desperate to find help from an expert in the field.
“The longer it goes on, the worse you feel because at 12 or 14 you feel you might develop but now at 25 you start wondering if it’s too late and ask yourself if you’ll ever develop,” Kate told the Irish Independent.
“When you’re a girl you want to develop into a woman, so when that didn’t happen I was just left there.
“My body has yet to develop to the age it should be at, so I kind of hide away. I never was able to go and buy a bra, because I don’t even fit into the first bra you would wear.
“I’ve been in limbo with this problem since I was 14 and still there don’t seem to be any answers.”