By Danny Baggott @dan_baggie
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Videographer / director: Marcus Cooper
Producer: Danny Baggott, Ruby Coote
Editor: Sonia Estal
Describing herself as the ‘size of a four-year-old’, Megan Grannan, 26, was born with Metatropic Dysplasia; an extremely rare form of dwarfism.
Megan, who lives in New Jersey, is just one out of 100 people living with the condition worldwide and it was said that she would not see out the first year of her life.
But Megan has been proving doubters wrong her entire life – including those who laughed when she said she wanted to become a school teacher and inspire children.
Megan told Barcroft TV: “People often look at me and they see somebody that is small and disabled. They don’t give me a chance.
“Being in the classroom, the kids are taller than me. It’s kind of hard for them to realise that I’m older than they are.
“My passion is teaching. I love it.
“I’ve been very lucky to find a teaching district that welcomed me in – it’s a really positive environment where I work.”
Megan’s day to day life is definitely more of a struggle due to her lack of height and her condition can often lead to her becoming excessively tired.
She said: “My condition is very rare. Metatropic Dysplasia, in Greek, means your body is always changing so you don’t know what’s coming next.
“I have to use a stick to open things and get things off counters.
“I have to have lower chairs, too. If I can’t reach something, I have to find a way to get it.
“I have to make adaptations a lot, to live in our society. I need help physically, because my arms are restricted.
“I don’t like to admit that stuff, but it’s part of my life.”
Megan’s parents were aware that something was wrong with her as soon as they could see her physical features when she was born.
Megan’s mother, Kelly, said: “At birth, we knew there was something wrong.
“But it wasn’t until we met with a genetic doctor that we were told she had a rare form of dwarfism.
“We just couldn’t believe it. I went to a medical journal and looked up her diagnosis and it wasn’t good.
“It said that she wouldn’t live through her first year of life, which was very upsetting.
“But we just took it a day at a time and got through the different problems.”
And still to this day, Kelly and Megan’s father, Thomas, have to take great care of their daughter.
Kelly continued: “On a daily basis, Megan struggles with physical care. That’s her biggest challenge.
“She needs assistance dressing and bathing just because she can’t extend her arms to reach her head.”
But the hardest thing for Megan is the judgement that she receives from certain people.
She said: “Yeah, I think the hardest part is the judgement that I get.
“When people don’t know who I am, they look at me and they see somebody that is small and disabled and they don’t see the true person behind it.
“In middle school, a kid said I had AIDS and nobody should sit next to me.
“I wasn’t great in high school either. I had a lot to deal with.”
But despite the hardships of growing up, Megan has found her role in life through teaching and the support of her friends and family.
“I don’t give myself enough credit for what I do,” she said.
“I am very proud of where I’ve got to in life and where I’m going.
“I hope to go even further and prove everybody wrong that said no.
“You should never give up on yourself. You need to keep positive and keep going, and you will achieve your dreams.”