DETROIT (WWJ) A Downriver girl with a rare disease got a special gift from a metro Detroit children’s charity, Children With Hair Loss, on Wednesday.

Lindsay Ratcliffe, 9, got a special custom-made wig.

“Usually this is an unaffordable service to a family, and for us it’s just a pleasure to be able to give to all these children,” said Regina Villemure, founder of the charity.

For her part, young Lindsay is thrilled with her new look. “I love it,” she said.

Ratcliffe has progeria, an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes premature aging. Children usually appear normal at birth but within the first year the effects of the disease become apparent.

Those affected develop normal mental skills but quickly deteriorate physically. The disease is usually characterized by baldness, aged-looking skin, cardiovascular disease, and other symptoms.

Despite her ailment, friends and family say Lindsay is a free-spirited young girl who loves all forms of dance and enjoys life as fully as she can.

Learn more about Lindsay on her website

To help fund research about progeria, all are welcome to participate in the 8th annual Miles for Miracles. It’s a two-mile walk or three-mile fun run with a bake sale, children’s entertainment, and auction with all proceeds going to The Progeria Research Foundation.


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