Adalia Rose Williams, who suffered from a rare genetic disease and gained a worldwide following on social media, died on Wednesday at the age of 15.
As a child, Williams was diagnosed with Hutchinson-Guilford Progeria Syndrome — a rare and potentially fatal genetic condition that increases the onset of aging rapidly — but that didn’t stop the teen from sharing her life on social media and YouTube.
“Adalia Rose Williams has been freed from this world. She entered it quietly and left quietly, but her life was a far cry from that,” reads a post on her Instagram and Facebook accounts.
The post continued, “She touched millions of people and left the biggest imprint on everyone who knew her. She no longer hurts and is now dancing away to all the music she loves.”
Williams has 2.91 million YouTube subscribers and has shared videos of makeup and dance lessons and a tour of her new apartment. She posted her first video 9 years ago and sang “Jesus Loves Me”.
Progeria is also referred to as “Benjamin Button” disease from the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in which Brad Pitt’s character steps forward. According to the Mayo Clinic, babies born with progeria appear normal at birth and then begin slow growth and hair loss in their first year.
The average life span of a person with the disease is 13 years, although some may live up to 20 years.
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On Instagram, fellow YouTubers sent their condolences and fashion designer Michael Costello posted videos of Williams in the dress he designed for her.
“My heart is broken. I got a text at 7 p.m. last night, Adalia Rose Williams was called to God’s house. I’m at a loss for words and can’t stop crying,” Costello said in the post.
He concluded, “Words cannot convey how much you have changed my life. I will miss you so much, my friend, and I promise to cherish all the wonderful memories we had together.”
Family friend, Ylianna Dadashi, set up a GoFundMe to cover funeral costs and medical expenses.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.