THREE-FOOT tall woman with rare form of dwarfism working as fashion model and looking for boyfriend

THREE-FOOT tall woman with rare form of dwarfism working as fashion model and looking for boyfriend

A three-foot-tall woman with a rare form of dwarfism – which has forced her to get more than 30 surgeries over her lifetime – is now working as a fashion model and on the hunt for a boyfriend.

Carly Ruhnke, 25, from New Jersey, has a condition known as Morquio syndrome. For years, she struggled in a world ‘not built for people with dwarfism or any other disability,’ and was often left feeling like she wasn’t ‘equal’ to her peers.

But Carly didn’t let it bring her down. Besides breaking the mold by becoming a catwalk model, she also launched her own non-profit last year called Little Carly Foundation, and has raised thousands of dollars through it.

However, while she has propelled in her professional life, Carly still struggles with one thing – dating.

She is currently on the hunt for ‘Mr. Right,’ but between the men who have made nasty comments about her size and the ones who have ‘dwarfism fetishes,’ she has had little success in the love department so far.

A three-foot-tall woman with a rare form of dwarfism - which forced her to get more than 30 surgeries over her lifetime - is now working as a fashion model and on the hunt for a boyfriend

A three-foot-tall woman with a rare form of dwarfism – which forced her to get more than 30 surgeries over her lifetime – is now working as a fashion model and on the hunt for a boyfriend

Carly Ruhnke, 25, from New Jersey, has a condition known as Morquio syndrome

Carly Ruhnke, 25, from New Jersey, has a condition known as Morquio syndrome

For years, Carly (pictured as a child) struggled in a world 'not built for people with dwarfism or any other disability,' and was often left feeling like she wasn't 'equal' to her peers

For years, Carly (pictured as a child) struggled in a world ‘not built for people with dwarfism or any other disability,’ and was often left feeling like she wasn’t ‘equal’ to her peers

But Carly didn't let it bring her down. She has now broken the mold by becoming a catwalk model. She is pictured on the runway

But Carly didn’t let it bring her down. She has now broken the mold by becoming a catwalk model. She is pictured on the runway

‘I’ve had somewhat of a dating life but nothing has gotten serious,’ she explained to Jam Press.

She also launched her own non-profit last year called Little Carly Foundation, and has raised thousands of dollars through it

She also launched her own non-profit last year called Little Carly Foundation, and has raised thousands of dollars through it

‘It’s difficult because of my dwarfism, as I would usually go for a person of average height but they tend to have rather mind-blowing fetishes.

‘People have said to me, “I’ve been looking for someone as short as you my whole life,” or [asked] disturbing questions about my body.

‘I think because of these comments, I’m holding out for Mr. Right and for someone who won’t talk down to me. I might be three-feet-tall, but I’m still a grown woman with feelings.’

Despite being picked on for most of her life, Carly is very confident in herself, adding that there’s ‘nothing holding her back.’

‘[The bullies] made me feel like I’m not their equal,’ she recalled. ‘So many people are bullied, disabled or not.

‘But I didn’t let it bother me then or now. Some people just have nothing better to do than to pick on someone else.

‘People realize now that there’s nothing holding me back, I’m doing things that they could only dream of.’

However, while she has propelled in her professional life, Carly still struggles with one thing – dating. She is pictured on the runway However, while she has propelled in her professional life, Carly still struggles with one thing – dating. She is pictured on the runway

However, while she has propelled in her professional life, Carly still struggles with one thing – dating. She is pictured on the runway

She is currently on the hunt for 'Mr. Right,' but between the men who have made nasty comments about her size and the ones who have 'dwarfism fetishes,' it's been hard for her

She is currently on the hunt for ‘Mr. Right,’ but between the men who have made nasty comments about her size and the ones who have ‘dwarfism fetishes,’ it’s been hard for her

Carly said she sometimes gets 'disturbing questions about her body' - but she's still 'holding out for Mr. Right and for someone who won't talk down to her'

Carly said she sometimes gets ‘disturbing questions about her body’ – but she’s still ‘holding out for Mr. Right and for someone who won’t talk down to her’

THREE-FOOT tall woman with rare form of dwarfism working as fashion model and looking for boyfriend

‘I might be three-feet-tall, but I’m still a grown woman with feelings,’ Carly (pictured with her family when she was eight years old) said

Despite being picked on for most of her life, Carly (pictured with her nephew) is very confident in herself, adding that there's 'nothing holding her back'

Despite being picked on for most of her life, Carly (pictured with her nephew) is very confident in herself, adding that there’s ‘nothing holding her back’

THREE-FOOT tall woman with rare form of dwarfism working as fashion model and looking for boyfriend

‘I didn’t let it bother me then or now. Some people just have nothing better to do than to pick on someone else,’ she said of her haters. She is pictured preparing for a photoshoot

Carly said she 'loves getting glammed up' and 'strutting her stuff' on the runway, and she has now modeled for the foundation Little People of America. She is pictured on the catwalk

Carly said she ‘loves getting glammed up’ and ‘strutting her stuff’ on the runway, and she has now modeled for the foundation Little People of America. She is pictured on the catwalk

Carly said she ‘loves getting glammed up’ and ‘strutting her stuff’ on the runway, and she has now modeled for the foundation Little People of America. 

What is Morquio syndrome?

  • Morquio syndrome is a rare genetic condition that affects a child’s bones and spine, organs, and physical abilities 
  • Children with this condition are missing or don’t produce enough of the enzymes that break down sugar chains naturally produced in the body
  • Symptoms usually appear between ages one and three and include: scoliosis or kyphosis, knock knees, heart and vision problems, an enlarged liver, and short height 
  • Source: ChildrensHospital.org 

Carly also works part-time as a hostess at a restaurant – a job that she was determined to get, having applied for more than 50 positions with little success. 

But her dreams go beyond modeling and restaurant work. She wants to make a difference in the dwarfism community through her foundation.

‘Last year, I started the Little Carly Foundation with my brother, Eddie and we help to raise money for members of the Little People of America,’ she said.

‘Each year, there’s a national conference held which helps to share awareness and it’s a great way to get involved in social gatherings – it’s like our own little world for a week.’

So far, Carly has raised $3,000 through sponsored walks – which she used to help other people attend the conferences.   

Morquio syndrome is a rare genetic condition that affects a child’s bones and spine, organs, and physical abilities.

Children with this condition are missing or don’t produce enough of the enzymes that break down sugar chains naturally produced in the body.

Most people with Carly’s condition reach at most four-feet-tall, but since she had to have surgery at a young age, she stands at just three-feet.

The budding model was first operated on at two-years-old, when doctors infused 11 discs in her neck and back as part of a spinal infusion.

Carly also works part-time as a hostess at a restaurant – a job that she was determined to get, having applied for more than 50 positions with little success

Carly also works part-time as a hostess at a restaurant – a job that she was determined to get, having applied for more than 50 positions with little success

But her dreams go beyond modeling and restaurant work. She wants to make a difference in the dwarfism community through her foundation. She is pictured at a photoshoot

But her dreams go beyond modeling and restaurant work. She wants to make a difference in the dwarfism community through her foundation. She is pictured at a photoshoot

She started it with her brother Eddie (pictured) and so far, Carly has raised $3,000 through sponsored walks

She started it with her brother Eddie (pictured) and so far, Carly has raised $3,000 through sponsored walks

Most people with Carly’s condition reach at most four-feet-tall, but since she had to have surgery at a young age, she stands at just three-feet

Most people with Carly’s condition reach at most four-feet-tall, but since she had to have surgery at a young age, she stands at just three-feet

The budding model was first operated on at two-years-old, when doctors infused 11 discs in her neck and back as part of a spinal infusion. She is pictured as a child

 The budding model was first operated on at two-years-old, when doctors infused 11 discs in her neck and back as part of a spinal infusion. She is pictured as a child

In total, this surgery took 16 and a half hours to complete, and since then, Carly has had more than 30 surgeries to date. She is pictured during one of her many surgeries

In total, this surgery took 16 and a half hours to complete, and since then, Carly has had more than 30 surgeries to date. She is pictured during one of her many surgeries

One consisted of a surgical 'potato peeler' being used to remove bone from her head, which was then transplanted into her neck. She is pictured throughout her childhood Another included a 'shelf' built into her hip to keep the socket in place. She is pictured throughout her childhood

One consisted of a surgical ‘potato peeler’ being used to remove bone from her head, which was then transplanted into her neck. She is pictured throughout her childhood

THREE-FOOT tall woman with rare form of dwarfism working as fashion model and looking for boyfriend THREE-FOOT tall woman with rare form of dwarfism working as fashion model and looking for boyfriend

‘I also had brackets placed on my hips, staples in my knees and ankles, as well as a trachea reconstruction,’ Carly (pictured as a child) recalled

In total, this surgery took 16 and a half hours to complete, and since then, Carly has had more than 30 surgeries to date.

Carly (pictured with her cousin) said her organs grow at an average pace for her age, sometimes making them too large for her body - which poses many problems

Carly (pictured with her cousin) said her organs grow at an average pace for her age, sometimes making them too large for her body – which poses many problems

One consisted of a surgical ‘potato peeler’ being used to remove bone from her head, which was then transplanted into her neck.

Another included a ‘shelf’ built into her hip to keep the socket in place.

She shared: ‘As my hip kept disjointing and moving out of the socket, my surgeon told me that they would just put it back into place.

‘I was only eight at the time and they made things extremely simple so I could understand.

‘I also had brackets placed on my hips, staples in my knees and ankles, as well as a trachea reconstruction.

‘At 20, I was only the fourth person with my disorder to have this surgery where they took a few inches of my trachea out.

Carly gets weekly infusions with enzymes to replace the ones lacking in her body that help with overall waste disposal

Carly gets weekly infusions with enzymes to replace the ones lacking in her body that help with overall waste disposal

Carly is currently single, but she hopes to get married one day in the future, and perhaps adopt a child with dwarfism – but for now, she’s taking life slow

Carly is currently single, but she hopes to get married one day in the future, and perhaps adopt a child with dwarfism – but for now, she’s taking life slow

THREE-FOOT tall woman with rare form of dwarfism working as fashion model and looking for boyfriend

‘I’m happy being an aunt and being a dog mom to my boy, Ruffus, who’s nearly 12,’ she said

‘As my organs grow at an average pace for my age, my trachea had grown too long and I would constantly have to put my head back in order to breathe.

‘I also have weekly infusions with enzymes to replace the ones lacking in my body that help with overall waste disposal.

‘Otherwise, the waste in my body would keep building up and I would suffer severe complications from this.

‘My nurse travels two hours to my house every week to give me my infusion – and has been my nurse for six years so we have developed a very strong bond.’

Carly is currently single, but she hopes to get married one day in the future, and perhaps adopt a child with dwarfism – but for now, she’s taking life slow.

‘Although I’ve never thought about it, I wouldn’t like to be pregnant and my doctors have advised against this,’ she concluded.

‘I’m happy being an aunt and being a dog mom to my boy, Ruffus, who’s nearly 12.’

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