Gerrie Botha is a 12 year old South African boy with Achondroplasia, a disorder of bone growth and referred to as dwarfism. People with achondroplasia have short stature, with an average adult height of 131 centimeters (4.30 feet) for males and 123 centimeters (4.04 feet) for females. Achondroplasia adults are known to be as short as 62.8 cm (2.06 ft).
Gerrie is now standing at 1 m and has a LARGER than life personality by trying to embrace and do everything a boy of his age should!
Gerrie has is own Facebook page, Little people/parents of little people SA, to encourage children and parents that can relate with his world.
Gerrie might be small but he surely leaves a lastingimpression when you meet this busy young man.As with every child his age, finishing homework takes a bit more motivation from his parents but play, sport and friends is high on his agenda!
Stand Tall. Dream Big! Larger Than life...
Achondroplasia in it itself is a daily challenge and since birth special care was taken to insure that Gerrie lives a normal life. His positive mindset and support from his parents has helped him to enjoy every day little things that most children his age might take for granted. A lurking challenge however is the fact that Gerrie was in early years also diagnosed with severe Thoracolumbar kyphosis with associated scoliosis. Kyphosis is characterized by an abnormally rounded upper back (more than 50 degrees of curvature) and scoliosis has a sideways curve to their spine.
- Swayback appearance
- In lying position there is a big gap between lower back and surface
- Back pain
- Growth impairment
- Difficulty in movement
- Abnormal head position (bent forward)
- Hump or exaggerated curvature of the upper back
- Fatigue in legs and back
- Uneven shoulders – one is higher than the other
- Uneven waist or hips
- Leaning to one side
- Numbness in legs
- Spine infections
- Muscular dystrophy
- Cerebral palsy
- Socially awkward and shy due to appearance
Because Gerrie’s condition is so severe, specialised care and expertise are needed to insure that the Thoracolumbar kyphosis with associated scoliosis is treated soon enough to prevent further limitations to his growth and ultimate living possibilities.
Little People of America Inc. provides the platform where he can be medically examined by field experts and receive options on way forward. Gerrie will however have to attend the next LPA conference in Orlando in June 2018 for all the necessary medical tests.
“LPA is a national non-profit organization that provides support and information to people of short stature and their families. Short stature is generally caused by one of the more than 200 medical conditions known as dwarfism. LPA welcomes all 200+ forms of dwarfism. LPA has more than 6000 members across the United States and internationally. They have 13 districts and 70 chapters. LPA provides social interaction, parent and peer support, medical support and education, scholarships and grants. Their members range from new-borns to senior citizens, little people and average height. Dwarfism cuts across all religions, ethnicities, and economic levels. All are welcome!”
Get Gerrie to the next LPA conference in Florida!
The GB Foundation / Fundraiser is a process started with Gerrie in mind, but not only because solely of his condition. Through this initiative we hope to raise awareness on dwarfism, attend to other medical conditions little people suffer from and erase miss conceptions about the little people.