The doctors were wrong. In fact, at 26, she does both professionally. A seasoned motivational speaker and a self-professed “pacer”.
Last year, while filming a documentary about her life, Velasquez finally got a diagnosis for her disorder. She has a rare neonatal progeroid syndrome and is one of only three known people to have the disorder.
The disorder makes it impossible for her to gain weight — she has zero percent body fat and has never weighed more than 64 pounds — regardless of how often she eats, which can be up to 60 times a day. It also causes early aging and has left her blind in one eye.
Velasquez’s stage presence is remarkable. She is a natural — at ease, funny, self-deprecating and relatable. She told The Huffington Post that she feels most at home on stage, which, given her early life experiences, comes as a surprise, even to her.