The Truth About Shauna Rae's Rare Disorder

From the network that brought us shows like "I Am Jazz" and "Sister Wives" comes a new show that, like many of the shows on the network, highlights someone from an underrepresented community. The network, of course, is TLC and their new reality show gives viewers the chance to view life from the eyes of a young woman named Shauna Rae who is living with a rare condition (via Distractify).

The show is called "I Am Shauna Rae," and it follows the life of Rae, who is an average 22-year-old woman from Pennsylvania. She lives with her ultra-protective parents, who have faced backlash for their overbearing parenting techniques (via People). However, there is a good reason why Rae's parents are so protective of her.

Rae has a rare condition that gives her the appearance of an 8-year-old, although she is 22. "I Am Shauna Rae" profiles her life as she navigates adulthood.

Her rare condition was triggered by a childhood health scare

Shauna Rae's condition, which makes her appear much younger than she actually is, developed during her childhood (via the New York Post). Patricia "Patty" Schrankel, her mother, shared that Rae tragically battled brain cancer when she was a baby. "Shauna was six months old when we found out she had brain cancer," she said in the trailer for the show (via YouTube), adding that her protective ways come from the struggles she endured at such a young age. "I feel, I guess almost guilty, that she will have to go through this for the rest of her life, so all I can do is protect her."

Rae explained her condition further, stating, "My pituitary gland was rendered almost dormant because of the chemotherapy. The doctor told me I was done growing. My bones were fused, and my height is 3 feet and 10 inches." While she successfully defeated cancer, the lasting effects of her treatment have followed her into adulthood.

According to The Things, she acts and feels her age, but it is constantly assumed that she is underage. Doing activities like going to bars can be met with concern as people worry they are serving a minor alcohol. Rae wants to be treated like the woman she is and hopes the show will bring awareness.