A teenage boy has opened up about living with an extremely rare condition, which affects just 13 people in the world and means his body is unable to store fat.
Dylan Lombard, 18, from Glasgow, has been diagnosed with MDP – mandibular hypoplasia, with deafness and signs of premature ageing – after developing symptoms when he was a toddler.
The rare condition, which affects just one in 600 million people worldwide, prevents fatty tissue from being stored underneath the skin, and results in a small lower jaw, ears, deafness and tightening of the skin.
“I was actually born with the condition, but it did not become visible until I was 18 months old," Lombard explains.
Having noticed her son lose a lot of weight, Lombard's mother became understandably worried, but because of the condition's obscurity it took 10 years and continuous visits to the doctors for the youngster to be formally diagnosed.
“There are only 12 other people in the world who have MDP besides me, but when we got the diagnosis, we were just relieved because we finally knew what it was,” he explains.
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The condition’s physical effects have meant that Lombard often experiences people staring or commenting on his appearance.
“Growing up it has been really tough," he says. "Seeing people staring, laughing and treating me differently, but I have learned to not let it affect me as I have got older.
“I surround myself with those who support me and love me for who I am, which is the best feeling in the world.”
Lombard is now passionate about raising awareness of the condition and uses his platform to help inform the public about MDP.
“I think I am at a stage in my life where I just really want to help educate people about my condition," he explains.
“I love to tell my story, reach out and connect with people from all around the world.
“When I do, I honestly believe it makes me a stronger, more confident person.”
While his condition means that Lombard is not able to take part in many physical activities, such as contact sports, he has managed to find a passion for photography, which he's been enjoying since the age of 11.
"I was out walking on a rainy day and took a few pictures on my phone to show my parents which they were really amazed by," he explains.
“They encouraged me to take more, and I have been snapping ever since.
“At 15, my mum bought me my first camera and I haven’t looked back.
"Photography is just the most incredible thing to me.”
Lombard says he takes his inspiration from his city, capturing the essence of Glasgow through his own unique perception.
He believes that everybody, no matter who they are, has the ability to be the best version of themselves.
“I am a lot more than just my condition, which is why I feel it is so important to share my story,” he explains.
“Nobody should ever be afraid of who they are, and it is important to just keep doing what makes you happy."
Additional reporting Caters.