In 2015, Jake Vella was diagnosed with dysregulation (or ROHHAD), a deadly and rare hormonal illness that causes rapid weight gain.
Jake’s parents, Maruska and Josie, were devastated to learn that people who suffer from ROHHAD cannot stop from gaining weight, no matter what. His wide range of symptoms include slow heartbeat, excessive sweating and the development of tumors. Jake had a tumor on his back.
Despite the fact that Jake is fated to get larger no matter how hard he works — and that doctors are unsure of his life span — Jake has committed himself to a healthy diet and regular exercise. The boy, who hails from the Mediterranean island of Malta, wants to do whatever he can to prevent further weight gain or health issues.
Not only that, but this incredible 8-year-old boy now completes in triathlons and never misses a training session! The triathlons help keep him healthy and fit.
Though he’s often on the receiving end of nasty stares and comments (from outsiders who have no idea what he’s going through), Jake maintains a positive attitude and dreams of replicating the success of famous Olympic medalists.
Now, Maruska and Josie are going public with their son’s story to raise awareness about this frightening condition.
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