Progeria: What is it, who does it affect and how can you help?

Carly Kudzia

WNWO Today welcomed a little star to the studio this morning, and we hope the community will get involved in her cause.

Carly Kudzia has Progeria, and is the 80th child living with Progeria in the world. There are 18 cases that have been diagnosed in the U.S. at this time. According to, Progeria, also known as Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS), is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging in children.

All children with Progeria die of the same heart disease that affects millions of normal aging adults (arteriosclerosis), but instead of occurring at 60 or 70 years of age, these children may suffer strokes and heart attacks even before age 10. Remarkably, the intellect of children with Progeria is unaffected. Despite the startling physical changes in their young bodies, these extraordinary children are intelligent, courageous and full of life.

The Progeria Research Foundation (PRF) was founded in 1999. PRF has gone from infancy to gene discovery/identification in 2003 to diagnosis. Now, the foundation is working to set up a third drug trial that Carly would participate in. This is where you come in.

You have the chance to help in finding a cure, by offering support to The Progeria Research Foundation. Carly's annual party this year will be on September 28 at The Pinnacle in Maumee. All proceeds benefit The Progeria Research Foundation.

You can learn much more about Carly, Progeria, The Progeria Research Foundation, and the annual party by visiting Carly's website -