LIFE-STYLE:MEET THE MAN WITH NO FAT IN HIS BODY AND GIRLFRIEND
Alice Miller, 23, met Tom Staniford, 24, online and says that they ‘clicked instantly’ and are now living together in London.
The girlfriend of a professional para-athlete says that even though her boyfriend has one of the rarest conditions in the world, they are just a normal couple
.Mr Staniford is one of only eight people in the world with MDP syndrome, which means that since the age of 12 he has been unable to store fat under his skin or even on the soles of his feet.
He also has just 40 per cent of the muscles of an average man and has poor hearing.
Surprisingly, Mr Staniford also suffers from type 2 diabetes - a disease usually associated with obesity.
Miss Miller, who works for custom bike experts CycleFit, travelled from Sheffield, where she was then a student, all the way to Mr Staniford’s hometown, Exeter, for their first date.
Mr Staniford is one of only eight people in the world with MDP syndrome, which means that since the age of 12 he has been unable to store fat under his skin or even on the soles of his feet
Mr Staniford also has just 40 per cent of the muscles of an average man and has poor hearing meaning that he has to wear hearing aids
Ms Miller said: ‘Living with Tom I’ve had to learn about what he eats. He has to have a controlled diet because of his diabetes and metabolism.
‘But that’s about it - he does most of the cooking and shopping and I just go along to pick out the cakes.’
She says they’ve been together long enough to know each other inside out.
She said: ‘When I look in to my future I see Tom there. We’ve been together so long that we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and I don’t think there would ever be anything that would get in the way of that
‘Now I don’t even notice the stares we occasionally get when we go out - Tom isn’t out of the ordinary at all.’
Mr Staniford added: ‘I am very, very fortunate to have Alice. That’s all I can say really. I’m very lucky to have her.’
The cyclist was born at a normal weight, but throughout his childhood and teenage years lost all the fat around his face and limbs.
His condition means he has no natural cushioning on his body, suffers from sore feet, and is at an increased risk of breaking bones in a fall.
Ms Miller said: 'When I look in to my future I see Tom there. We've been together so long that we know each other very well. I don't think there would ever be anything that would get in the way of that'
What could prove crucial, though, is enabling me to be properly classified in competitions so that I am not competing at an unfair disadvantage against others.
'I hope to be able to compete for Great Britain in the 2016 Paralympics and this finding could make a real difference to my chances.'
Professor Andrew Hattersley, a Wellcome Trust senior investigator, said: 'Tom's condition has been a puzzle to us for many years. We could see the symptoms, including the very unusual case of type 2 diabetes in someone with no obvious body fat, but did not know what was causing them.
'We had to look at 30 million base pairs (chemical components of DNA) in Tom's DNA, and similar numbers in his family members and other patients, to identify the single mutation. This would not have been feasible even a couple of years ago.'
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