Little Girl Has ‘Big And Beautiful’ Eyes Because Of Rare Genetic Condition

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A young girl has ‘big and beautiful’ eyes as a result of a rare genetic condition. 

Two-year-old Mehlani Dickerson has Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome, which has given her the enchantingly large eyes people often compliment.

According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Centre, Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome is primarily an eye disorder, but can also cause distinctive facial features and issues with teeth.

Mehlani’s mother Karina spoke to UNILAD about her daughter, talking about the condition and the issues Mehlani had early in life.

She said:

Mehlani was diagnosed with Axenfeld-Rieger anomaly syndrome at about a week old, so basically her iris (the coloured part of her eye) didn’t form correctly in the womb, her eyes are all black pupil.

She was later diagnosed with glaucoma as well, which is a condition that causes loss of eye sight. She can see perfect as of now, but we don’t entirely know what her vision will be in the future.

Karina shared a picture of her daughter on Twitter, expressing worries that the little girl might be bullied later in life.

She wrote:

Every time we’re out & a stranger compliments on how big & beautiful her eyes are, I have a mental debate on whether or not I should mention her defect. I decide no, smile & say thank you. I’m always left with a weird feeling. I just pray she’ll always know how beautiful she is.

I get so nervous thinking about her starting school. What if other kids are mean about her eyes & she gets made fun of? What if she starts to hate her unique gorgeous eyes? It makes me want to cry thinking about it because she’s so strong & sweet & been through so much already.

Speaking to UNILAD, the mother added:

When people compliment her out in public I always smile & thank them.

I mentioned in my tweet about a mental debate I have, and that’s mostly me thinking about how much she’s gone through because of those beautiful eyes, and it also makes me realise that other people notice something different about her and that just gets me thinking about her future in school, I think maybe kids will pick on her because of her eyes.

I never actually mention her condition because I know it’s nobody’s business unless someone directly asks why her eyes are like that, then I’m happy to tell them all about her & her eyes.

But I always really wanted to raise awareness about her condition, they are so unrecognized and so I’m really happy that out of everything I tweet, my daughter was the one to go viral! I hope now there will be more donations to the cause and it will be more talked about!

After Mehlani’s picture was shared online, Karina was met with a wave of positive comments and support.

One kind Twitter user responded:

I scrolled past and thought “wow what a gorgeous little girl so jealous of her beautiful big eyes” then read your post! People are always going to be mean whatever the case.. but in her case I truly believe the compliments will overwhelm you! She’s ridiculously beautiful!

While another added:

She’s just perfect mama. She’s gorgeous. She’s a strong little gal and she’s lucky to have you as her mommy. Just perfect.

Overwhelmed with the lovely responses, Mehlani’s mother shared more pictures of her beautiful daughter:

There’s no doubt Mehlani is well loved and absolutely gorgeous!

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.