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Friday, June 21, 2024
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MOTHER THINKS THAT HER CHILD WAS BORN HAIRY BECAUSE SHE ATE A CAT WHEN PREGNANT

A mother from the remote mountain region of Apayao in the Philippines has revealed her fears that her son’s rare medical condition, known as ‘werewolf syndrome,’ was caused by her eating a cat during pregnancy. Alma Gamongan, Jaren’s mother, believed that her son’s excessive hair growth was due to a curse that was brought upon her after she ate a wild cat to satisfy her cravings during pregnancy.

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Hair

Jaren, two, was born with a full head of hair, black sideburns, and patches of hair that filled his face, neck, back, and arms. His mother took him to qualified doctors this month, who diagnosed him with hypertrichosis, an incredibly rare syndrome with only 50 to 100 reported cases worldwide since the Middle Ages.

Alma said she had uncontrollable cravings for wild cats, an exotic dish that is found in the remote mountain region where she lives. She sought out a black feline from village friends and ate it – sauteed with herbs – which she later regretted when Jaren was born.

Alma said she worried so much for her son when it’s time for him to go to school, as he might get bullied for being different. However, doctors have since confirmed that Jaren’s condition was not related to her eating a cat during pregnancy.

Hypertrichosis, also called ‘werewolf syndrome,’ affects only an estimated ‘one in every one billion people.’ While there is no cure for the condition, treatments such as laser hair removal can help manage it. However, each session would cost the family 2,500 Philippine Peso (£35), and Alma is now pleading for help to give her son a better chance in life.

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Jaren’s condition has been a source of fascination and concern for his family and community. Footage of the adorable ‘werewolf’ boy shows him playing around their home and a building despite having a medical condition that gives him his excess facial hair growth. Alma said Jaren was a happy and playful boy but he complains about having itchy rashes when the weather becomes hot.

Alma said: ‘I will give him a bath when it’s hot. We even tried to cut the hair, but it would just grow back even longer and thicker, so we stopped doing it.’ Alma finally had a consultation with a dermatologist this month. They confirmed that Jaren’s condition was ultra-rare hypertrichosis, also called ‘werewolf syndrome.’

Dr Ravelinda Soriano Perez, who checked Jaren, said: ‘We believe this was an inherited condition, but it is very rare. One in only one billion people could have it.’ The medic added that while hypertrichosis did not have a cure, treatments such as laser hair removal could help the condition. She said: ‘We will try to do ten sessions in four to six weeks and then observe.’

Alma is now hoping to raise funds to cover the cost of Jaren’s treatments. She said: ‘I am very thankful to those who already helped us. I hope my son could have a better chance in life with your help.’

Hypertrichosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive hair growth on the body and face. It can be present at birth or develop later in life due to certain medications or medical conditions. While there is no cure for the condition, treatments such as laser hair removal, electrolysis, and medication can help manage it.

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Jaren’s case is an incredibly rare one, and his mother’s fears about the cause of his condition reflect the superstitions and beliefs that are still prevalent in some remote regions of the Philippines. However, with the help of qualified doctors and the support of his family and community, Jaren can still lead a happy and fulfilling life.

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