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
“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
“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