Xeroderma Pigmentosum a Rare Disease That Keeps Sufferers In The Shadows

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Most people can’t wait for the long, warm days of summer to return.

But for one young woman, being out in the sunshine is a nightmare she must actively avoid.

Andrea Monroy, 23, was born with xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) – a hereditary defect which means her body is unable to repair damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. 

The rare genetic condition causes extreme sensitivity to the sun and can lead aggressive skin cancer if she is exposed to sunlight.

It means she can only leave the house either at night or if she is covered from head to foot in protective clothing.

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Andrea Monroy has a rare condition that can lead to cancer when sufferers are exposed to sunlight

As a child Miss Monroy developed an unusual amount of freckles and was diagnosed with XP when she was five.

The condition, which only affects about 2,000 people worldwide, means he could get cancer from sunlight.

Her parents took drastic measures to protect her from the sun’s harmful rays like home-schooling and having tinted windows fitted to their house.

‘In every single way I have always had a different life,’ said Miss Monroy, from San Diego, California.

‘I never went to school as it wasn’t safe and my mum taught me to read and write.

‘The house windows were tinted and are curtains were kept closed if I was in the room.’

‘I usually don’t go out much in the day. Everything I do is at night. When I go out, the sun must not touch my skin.

‘I wear a hat that has a special plastic to protect me from the sun, not completely but it does help.

‘And I also wear gloves, the material is special to protect me from the sun. It can be very hard but I cover all of my body by wearing jeans, boots, and a jacket.’

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Andrea was diagnosed with Xeroderma pigmentosum when she was five after she started developing a lot of freckles as a toddler

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The illness means she cannot go outside in the daytime and must even protect herself from exposure to UV rays at night

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