Paddy walks with giants in bid to raise funds
Published 15/02/2011 | 05:00
A man with an incredibly rare form of dwarfism is to begin fundraising to raise money for research into his condition.
Paddy Ryan is one of just 140 people in the world to suffer from the condition called Primordial Dwarfism Type II-- a genetic disorder that severely stunts growth.
The condition is a very rare and is a form of dwarfism in which the body is properly and proportionately formed, but remains quite tiny.
This differs from normal dwarfism which is characterised by a small stature resulting from a specific medical condition. One in every 100 people are characterised as dwarves.
At 3ft 6in, Mr Ryan (33) from Templederry, Co Tipperary, is one of the smallest adults in the country.
"There is one other person in Wexford who has it, but he's very private," Mr Ryan said.
"There are only about 140 documented cases in the world with this condition. I am one of the oldest males in the world who has it but there are women older than me," Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said he has not let the condition hinder him. He drives a specially adapted Volkswagen Golf and worked for 14 years in Nenagh with MJM Electronics before its closure last year.
He is the only person in Ireland collecting for the non-profit Walking With Giants Foundation, a support and research group for people affected by dwarfism.
His fundraising campaign will begin in Michael Hogan's pub in Templederry on March 18. The foundation was set up by the parents of Alex Connerty, a young boy from Liverpool who was diagnosed with the disorder in May 2006.