Local teen with progeria published

  • Contributed—

Recorder Staff
Published: 7/21/2017 9:27:36 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Meghan Waldron, a local teenager who has a rare genetic aging mutation, recently released a book co-authored through the Red Fred Project.

“Running on the Wind” is “about a little bird, Cassidy, who was never raised in a nest and consequently, doesn’t know how to fly. But she does know how to run,” says a press statement. “The story covers topics of friendship, perseverance, developing healthy habits, facing fears, and challenging oneself to become better at something.”

The Red Fred Project, founded by Dallas Graham of Utah who is also the book’s co-author, seeks out children living “in extraordinary circumstances and asks them the question: If you could write a book for the entire world to read, what would it be about?”

“Running on the Wind” is told through photography and graphic design; a “cast of colorful, comma-birds affectionately known as ‘The Jolly Troupe.’” Graham, the press spokesman for the project, wasn’t available for comment.

Waldron, a 16-year-old Frontier Regional School student, is one a few hundred children living throughout the world with Huthcinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (more commonly known as Progeria), a fatal disorder that causes rapid aging. It also causes a variety of health problems including hair loss.

The press release says those with the condition “die of heart disease at an average age of 14 years.”

That prognosis hasn’t stopped Waldron, however. In addition to writing poetry (having published poetry in Stone Soup Magazine), “at six years old she learned to play the violin and continued for eight years. She joined her school orchestra in seventh grade, and when she learned they would need a cellist in eight grade,” she taught herself the instrument.

Nationally, Waldron helps support Progeria Research Foundation as an ambassador, participating in various activities including a 5K road race. She was selected by the Red Fred Project to represent Massachusetts as part of its “50 Books, 50 Children, 50 States Collection,” all of which will be sent and permanently housed in the United States Library of Congress.

For more information, or to purchase a book, visit redfredproject.com/shop. All proceeds will be sent to Waldron’s family to help with medical costs and other expenses.


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