By Rafaela Kuznec @RafaelaKuznec

A YOUTUBER has broken over 200 bones due to a rare genetic condition that makes his bones as fragile as glass

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Videographer / director: Adams Wood
Producer: Rafaela Kuznec, Ruby Coote
Editor: Marcus Cooper


Bladen Pietro, otherwise known as Bastrin, from North Carolina, was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a genetic disorder that prevents the body from building strong bones, also called brittle bone disease. 

Bladen told Barcroft TV: “I have broken probably over a couple of hundred bones in my life and I'm 21 now, so I have a lot of life to live and who knows what will be in the future.”

At 21, he is just 42 inches tall with a shorter than average body due to his condition.

He said: “Someone looks at me and they are like: ‘Oh, that kid is in a wheelchair!’.

“A lot of people think that I have a mental disability, and they instantly treat me like a child.

“That's why I grew up a moustache, at least I look older.”

Bladen’s mother, Erin Mason, speaking of the time she found out that her son suffers from a rare genetic disorder, told Barcroft TV: “I was very excited when Bladen was born but when we found out everything that was going on with him it was difficult.

“It was hard and difficult at first, we didn’t know what the future was going to hold but it turned out to be very well.”

She added: “He can do almost everything, even if sometimes he does require some help from others. If that help is unavailable, he would figure out a way to do things by himself.”

Despite his condition, Bladen started his own YouTube channel nine years ago hoping to inspire others, and today he has over 460,000 subscribers.

The 21-year-old YouTuber mainly makes videos about gaming and his traveling adventures.

He said: “I started doing commentaries, I started doing regular vlogs, food reviews, drink reviews.

“Basically, what I’m doing is I’m getting the gameplay from Fortnite or any other game that I decide to pick and then I just combine it into a huge collage.

“And then I continuously talk over that for 10 minutes.

“No cuts, no breaks and it’s very flowy, it’s very clean and people seem to enjoy it and I enjoy doing it.

“I think just knowing that I’m inspiring other people, inspires me to inspire people.”

Bladen said that even though he has broken almost every bone in his body, he won’t let his condition stop him from being active and living his life to the fullest.

He said: “I just want people with disabilities to feel that they can do anything they want if they put their mind to it.

“You might have limitations, you might have to modify some things, but in the end, you can do what you want.

“Keep positive, just live life, be happy. You only got one life to live.

“I’m not going to sit there and stop travelling and living my life just because I have shortcomings and brittle bones.”