VIRAL: La Salle grad with rare skin condition inspires

VIRAL: La Salle grad with rare skin condition inspires

"Yes, that's me on both photos and I know you're thinking that I look different," wrote De La Salle grad Marion Agner on his Facebook post.

His graduation photos has since gone viral, with more than 7,600 shares and 75,000 likes as of this posting.

But more than his unique appearance, the Psychology graduate from De La Salle University-Lipa earned admiration for his inspiring story.

Born with a rare skin condition called anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, the 20-year-old grew up with abnormal development of his skin, hair, teeth and sweat glands.

It affects only one out of 100,000 people. Because of this, Agner didn't have eyebrows and eyelashes. He barely has hair on his head. And his teeth are small and pointed.

Lacking sweat glands, his body cannot release heat. So during hot afternoons, his nose usually bleeds.

"There were times that I would like to give up but I told myself that I need to keep on fighting because that's the real meaning of life. You need to learn how to fight and stand on your own feet," wrote Agner on his FB post.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Agner shared how they tried to manage a normal life for him despite his special condition.

In school, rather than play outside with the other children, he would stay inside the classroom in the company of a stand fan to keep cool.

But the real challenge was when he hit puberty, when his appearance made him the object of ridicule or fear.

"I always ask why did it have to be me to experience this kind of situation. I want to live a normal life just like others. I don't want to be rejected and criticized because of how I look," said Agner to ABS-CBN News.

During his college years, his desire for acceptance pushed him to join school pageants. His parents support backing him up, he finished third runner up at the Mr and Ms Freshies 2012.

He also placed third at The Search for Ambassadors of Mental Health in his junior year.

That's when he started wearing dentures and a hairpiece, as well as drawing on his eyebrows.

As years passed he became more confident in his natural look. At a modeling show in 2013, he removed his hat to show his real self, hoping to inspire other people.

"It has been a tough journey for me and, finally, I made it. From all the judgments and rejections I received from others just because I'm different. From all rumors I've heard about me and for those people who think I can't make it, thank you for being my motivation," wrote Agner.


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