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Woman with rare syndrome has inspirational message

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A Texas State student with a very rare syndrome says she was severely bullied growing up.

Lizzie Velasquez is used to getting started at. The 23-year-old weighs less than 60 pounds.

"It was a very, very tough journey to get to where I am now," she said.

Velasquez has an extremely rare syndrome that prevents her from storing body fat and gaining weight. Only three people in the world are known to have the syndrome. She's also blind in one eye.

"It wasn't until I started elementary school that I had a slap of reality that yes, I am different. I'm going to have to deal with bullying. The name calling, the pointing, whispering, giggling, not wanting to sit by me, not wanting to talk to me," Velasquez said.

She was called names like "skinny bones" and "monster." Then, a few years ago Velasquez came across a YouTube video someone had posted of her titled "The World's Ugliest Woman."

"There were thousands and thousands of comments on this one video with no sound. They ranged on giving me tips on how to kill myself, asking why my parents didn't abort me because if people ever saw my face they would go blind," she said.

While that was extremely painful, Velasquez has turned her experience into a positive one.

"You can like who you are and be proud of who you are and use that to help others, " she said.

The Texas State senior has written two books and been a motivational speaker at countless events in Central Texas and around the country.

"I'm really happy to say that if there was ever a magic pill or some surgery or weight gaining supplement I could take to look like everybody else, I would never ever do it," she said.

She admits she once thought about plastic surgery, but now she wouldn't even consider it, so she has a lot to say about teens going under the knife.

"Hearing that people, especially teenagers, are wanting to get plastic surgery to change the way they look really kind of makes me sad because in my opinion, not looking like a celebrity or a beauty queen is a good thing," she said.

That is her message and one she will continue to spread.

"I've grown to love the way that I look," Velasquez said.

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