He can't fit into his stroller. His parents struggle to find him diapers that fit, even ones meant for kids twice his age. He can't walk, run or play with other children his age, and at 18-months old Yagiz Bekte of Turkey might be nearing the end of his short life. Unless his parents get help with treatment that costs over $50,000 a month. It is desperately needed to help with his rare genetic condition.
Bekte was born with a leptin deficiency, which the body uses to control weight and metabolism. The deficiency causes him to gain about 4 pounds per month on average, well-above the normal rate of growth for a child his age.
His parents, Sadat and Sevda Bekte, took him to doctors when he was just a few months old because he kept gaining weight.
"Even when I was only breastfeeding him he was gaining sometimes two kilos (5 pounds) per month," his mother told reporters.
A treatment exists that would help Yagiz's body regulate itself, but it costs over $4,000 for just a 3-day supply. It's not available through Turkey's public health service and other government agencies have refused to cover the cost. The family has made a direct plea to Turkey's president to intervene.
"I want Yagiz to be able to walk and run like all other children. He is in a very difficult condition. There is no doctor we haven't visited in the past year," Sevda said.
For more on this story watch the video below: