- Hundreds of mourners attended the memorial service of Ontlametse Phalatse
- Ontlametse died last week soon after celebrating her 18th birthday
- She suffered from progeria and outlived her predicted life expectancy of 13
Hundreds of mourners attended the memorial service of Ontlametse Phalatse, the first black girl diagnosed with progeria who died last week.
The mourners gathered in Hebron in the North West province of South Africa on Wednesday, April 19.
Ontlametse was one of two South African young women suffering from progeria, a rare genetic condition that causes the body to age at a rapid rate.
Doctors diagnosed her with the condition in 2009 and said she would not live beyond the age of 13.
However, she exceeded expectations of everyone to see her 18th birthday, which she marked with a meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma on March 25.
A spokesperson of the Ontlametse Phalatse Trust’s, Tebogo Mothoa, said Ontlamatse will be remembered for her courageous spirit and inspirational personality.
Mothoa said: “The late Ontlametse did not represent the illness; she was much more than that. She had that inspiration that she gav to young and old people. She must not just be remembered for her disability.” Her bubbly personality was indeed evident in her Instagram posts below.
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Speakers at Ontlametse's memorial recalled her bubbly personality, bright spirit and determination to live her life to the fullest. She will be laid to rest on Friday, April 21.
Watch one of the speakers pay tribute to her in the video below.