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1/31/12

One Side of Christine Honeycutt's Face Did Not Grow

Bookmark and Share One of Christine’s teachers told her to wipe the ink off her forehead. “I can’t,” she replied. “It’s always there.”

There were other troubling signs: One side of Christine’s forehead was normal, but the other was “meaty,” Vicki recalls. And her ears looked out of proportion to one another—an asymmetry that seemed to extend over her entire face. . . .

In 2008, two and a half years after the line first appeared on Christine’s face, a geneticist who specializes in facial deformities finally diagnosed her with Parry-Romberg syndrome, an extremely rare autoimmune disorder that affects roughly one in a million people. Christine’s own immune system had turned against her so that one side of her face was developing normally while the other side was slowly but surely deteriorating.

Parry-Romberg syndrome, also known as progressive facial hemiatrophy, was first identified in the early 1800s. More
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