The Internet Is Falling in Love With a Toddler Who Has a Rare Eye Defect

Her eyes will make you melt on the spot.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Sep 2018
little girl big eyes smiling outside wearing red bow yellow shirt
Photo: Crystal Marie Sing/Twenty20

Just the thought of your kid being bullied is enough to make any parent breakdown and cry right on the spot. It’s a scary world, and kids can be pretty mean sometimes.

One mom, who goes by the username karinaa_ortega on Twitter, is already concerned about her toddler being bullied when it comes time for her to start school. Her beautiful little girl, Mehlani, has rieger anomaly syndrome, a rare eye defect which causes her eyes to develop differently than other people’s eyes. Her condition has presented a bunch of challenges the little girl has already had to overcome, including glaucoma.

And as a result of her rare medical condition, she has bigger than your average eyes.

“Everytime we’re out and a stranger compliments on how big and beautiful her eyes are, I have a mental debate on whether or not I should mention her defect. I decide no, smile and say thank you. I’m always left with a weird feeling. I just pray she’ll always know how beautiful she is,” her mom says on Twitter.

Mehlani’s beautiful, big eyes are a cause for concern for the mom, who worries it’ll make her a target for bullies as she gets older.

“I get so nervous thinking about her starting school,” she explains. “What if other kids are mean about her eyes and she gets made fun of? What if she starts to hate her unique, gorgeous eyes? It makes me want to cry thinking about it because she’s so strong and sweet and [has] been through so much already.”

Much to her surprise—and relief—her tweet about her daughter’s condition went viral, with many chiming in to show support and some even sharing their experience with the rare condition.

The response was so powerful, Mehlani’s mom was “overwhelmed” by the positivity she received.

As it quickly became clear to her, sometimes our differences are our most important traits.

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