Lizzie Velasquez is the subject of a new documentary called ‘A Brave Heart .. The Lizzie Velasquez Story’.
The documentary is about a rare syndrome Lizzie was born with...and how that led her to become an anti-bullying activist.
Some facts about Lizzie Velasquez (Source: Wikipedia)
Elizabeth Ann "Lizzie" Velásquez is an American motivational speaker and author. She suffers from a rare congenital disease which, among other symptoms, impedes her from accumulating body fat. This condition resulted in bullying during her childhood and early youth and ultimately inspired her to take up motivational speaking. Her latest book was recently made into a documentary.
She has zero percent body fat and has never weighed more than 29 kg (64 pounds). She is unable to gain weight and is required to eat many small meals and snacks throughout the day. She is blind in her right eye, which began to cloud over when she was four years of age, and has limited vision in the other. She has a weak immune system. Her condition is similar to many other conditions, especially progeria. However, her condition is not terminal. Involved medical researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have expressed the opinion that it may be a form of neonatal progeroid syndrome, which at least has spared her healthy bones, organs, and teeth.
She has some progeroid physical characteristics, such as a pointed nose and already aging skin, but she has additional problems beyond that diagnostic classification. Ever since she was dubbed the "world's ugliest woman" by cyberbullies in a video posted on YouTube, Lizzie Velásquez has spoken out against bullying.
Her first published work was co-authored (with her mother Rita) and is a self-published autobiography released in 2010 in English and Spanish. It is called Lizzie Beautiful: The Lizzie Velásquez Story and has never-before-seen journal entries Lizzie's mother wrote to Lizzie as a child.
Next Lizzie wrote two books directed towards teenagers, which share personal stories from her life and offer advice. Be Beautiful, Be You (2012) shares Lizzie's journey 'to discover what truly makes us beautiful, and teaches readers to recognize their unique gifts and blessings'. That book is also available in Spanish as Sé bella, sé tú misma (2013). Choosing Happiness (2014) talks about some of the obstacles Lizzie has faced in her life, and how she's 'learned the importance of choosing to be happy when it's all too easy to give up'. Both books were published by a Redemptorist Catholic publishing house, Liguori Publications.
A documentary film entitled A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, premiered at SXSW on March 14, 2015.
‘A Brave Heart .. The Lizzie Velasquez Story’ is in theaters now, it is also available On Demand and digital download.
Follow Lizzie Velasquez on Twitter: @ImWithLizzie