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Old Before My Time: Hayley Okines' Life with Progeria
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Old Before My Time: Hayley Okines' Life with Progeria

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  713 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Old Before My Time Born with the rare genetic condition progeria, Okines ages eight times faster than the average person. Hayley reflects on her unusual life, talks frankly about her hopes for the future and her pioneering drug trials in America, which could unlock the secrets of aging for everyone. Full description
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 24th 2011 by Accent Press Ltd (first published October 26th 2011)
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Mia
It speaks volumes about this family that my initial reaction was that Hayley's story is a bit... boring. But that's actually a good thing. If a young girl can live a life battling an illness (and its attendant issues; HBP, osteoporosis, etc.) and her life isn't 100% medical drama all the time THAT'S FANTASTIC.

Hayley and her mother alternate writing chapters and while I liked the change in points of view, a lot of the information was redundant. I think this might have worked better as an intervie...more
John Sanabria
Thank you so much for sharing your story with the rest of the world.
This book brought many emotions to me, sometimes made me laugh, sometimes my eyes got wet but in general it was a cute and nice experience.
Hayley, you are not only special because you got progeria, other children have the disease too but you have made the difference in the life of many people who have watched specials about you and by other people that have the bless of reading your book. You have touched our hearts.

I follow you...more
Natalie
Very well written, humbling book. Hayley is a wonderfully positive thinking teenager with a deadly disease. But she refuses to concentrate on that fact that she is dying, and instead LIVES every minute with dreams of the future, humor and love! One of the saddest stories I ever read, and yet it leaves me smiling through my tears... And hoping... That's what Hayley teaches me... Hope is the Begin of every change to the better!
Lesa
Quick read; read it in one day. Very interesting. The writing wasn't the greatest; I noticed several typos and some sentences were just very odd. I also had trouble understanding some of the British terms used. MOT? But I enjoyed reading Hayley's story and am glad she is doing well.
Stephanie (StephTheBookworm)
Perhaps you’ve heard of the amazing Hayley Okines, or maybe you’ve seen her on TV. Hayley was born with an incredibly rare condition called Progeria, which causes her to age eight times faster than the average person. From the time she was a baby, she looked like an elderly person, and had the physical symptoms to accompany that, including things like arthritis. She is also very small and frail. Because these children have the bodies of very old people, they rarely make it into their teenage yea...more
Judie
When Kerry Okines became pregnant in 1997, she and her husband, Mark, looked forward to the typical experiences of raising a child. Within a few months of their new daughter, Hayley’s, birth, however, they realized that she was not developing normally. She was not gaining weight, only an ounce or two between health visitor appointments. Kerry noticed small lumps on Hayley’s abdomen which the doctor dismissed as “nothing to worry about.” By the time Hayley was six months old, the Okines were con...more
Jessica
I was lucky enough to receive this book through the First Reads program here at Goodreads. Like many people I didn't know much about Progeria. I had heard of it, of course, but I didn't know any details. Old Before My Time: Hayley Okines' Life with Progeria delves into subject matter that has rarely been touched, offering readers two views of what it's like to have your life touched by the rare disease: Hayley's mother Kerry, and Hayley herself. What touched me the most was Hayley's determinatio...more
Kylie
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I have followed Hayley and her story for several years now, and I guess I was hoping to learn more about the trials that she is on. It was interesting to hear both Hayley's point of view as well as her mother's. Her mother, however...I just don't know. I didn't get a good vibe about her. She is always complaining about the cards she's dealt, how she and her husband frequently fight, the lack of money that they have, yet they go on theses exotic...more
Julie
I saw Haleys story on a documentary on TV recently, and when I saw her book was available, I thought it would be a good little read. She is very sweet, and the book is half written by her, and half by her mum about her life living with progeria.

You have to admire the girl, who even though small and with many health issues still attended normal primary and high school when she could. Because of her television programmes, so many people throughout the world have learned about this devastating illn...more
Alexandra
i'm going to start book reviews again. i stopped cause i was so busy. but i do need to write reviews again...even if it's not for every book.

i loved this book. i had seen documentaries on Hayley before, but reading her story was a wonderful thing too. i love memoirs and i speed through this one. Hayley had Progeria where she ages 8 times faster making her really 100 at only the age of 13. She is strong with all the tests she goes through, she doesn't let anything get in her way. even if you're...more
Karen Chung
This book will give you a quick education in what it's like to live with progeria, a disease which ages the sufferer many times faster than normal. Mother Kerry and daughter Hayley write alternating chapters, each telling their story from her own point of view, so you get to see two sides of some of the same events. In spite of limited resources, Kerry and husband Mark really went all out to give Hayley the best quality of life possible, with attentive care, parties and exciting experiences - li...more
Beckie Treble
Loved seeing this from both Hayley's and Kerry's Points of View. I've been following Hayley's story on the on channel 5. Hayley really is an inspiration to us all. I hope that soon there will be a cure for Progria, along with everything else. Only Hayley could get away with asking Price Charles for his autograph. I told my mum this morning, and smiled. The only reaction I've found when someone mentions Hayley's name. Truly amazing.

Tiffany
Heartbreaking at times, yet very inspiring.
Lori
Jun 11, 2013 Lori rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
an almost three. I found myself getting an education with this book "old before my time: hayley Okine's Life with Porgeria. this helpful and honest book is written by Hayley Okine a 13 year old girl dealing with Progeria, and also written by her mother Kerry. they take turns telling their story. Progeria is an "illness" or "affliction"{ not sure what words to use} that starts in infancy to a baby that causes them to age eight times faster than "normal" it also causes them to be small, lose their...more
Lisa Godina
I first became aware of Hayley from the Anderson Cooper show. Her parents were amazing in how they dealt with her terminal illness and yet inspire Hayley to have confidence.
Progeria is a very rare disease that causes the body to age 8 times faster than normal. Most children diagnosed with Progeria are lucky to make it to their 13th birthday.
The book is informational and insightful giving the reader perspective from both the mother's point of view and from Hayley herself.
For me personally I watch...more
Tracy
Several new cases of progeria have been recently reported in the US and it was interesting to read the life and times of young Hayle Okines. Having a child with severe and profound special needs, it's often comforting to see how other parents and families deal with shock & denial, grief, loss, and loneliness.

Progeria is a ("Progeria", or "HGPS") is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterized by an appearance of accelerated aging in children. Its name is derived from the Greek and means "p...more
Adriana
This was okay. It presented a good amount of information about an illness few people have heard of and even fewer are knowledgeable about, and hearing a first-hand account from a very brave girl and her mother really humanizes it. As a mother myself, I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to know that one of my children lived with death sentence which meant with almost certainty that they would never emerge from their teens.

Of all the anecdotes related by Hayley and her mother, the...more
Jodi
This was an extraordinary story about a brave little girl and her family. She has Hutchinson- Gilford Prgeria disease. This makes her older than her grandparents. Her body is the body of an elderly female (100) even though she is only 13. Her parents knew something was wrong and after many tests they discovered she was one in eight millon to get this rare condition. She has come to America many times over the years to meet others with the same condition. She has been through many new experimenta...more
Anamica
I ordered this book online after seeing this beautiful girl Hayley at NatGeo and at that very moment I was curious to know about her. After a series of research about who she is and what is progeria, I discovered she has written a book about her life with progeria. I couldn't waste a minute, but to order this book immediately.
When I received the book, and found out that it was also written by Kerry Okins; my apologies but I was a bit disappointed as i was more keen to know Hayley's aspect. But a...more
Marie
Jul 04, 2013 Marie added it
Shelves: autobiography
I applaud Kerry and Hayley's Okines for sharing their lives through Hayley's Progeria - a disease that causes the body to age 8 times faster than normal causing all the problems of old age to arise prematurely.

This book not only educated me on this disease but made me aware of a very brave little girl and others like her who go through medical issues as well as social issues for being different. Not to mention what the entire family goes through together, money issues, decisions on medications,...more
Laura
Despite this book being about a girl with a serious condition, it was actually quite uplifting. People familiar with Hayley's documentaries already know that this girl lights up every room she steps in. And she managed to do that through the page as well.

The book was written by both Hayley and her mom Kerry. This gives two perspectives to every event or situation, but it also makes it a bit of a repetitive read sometimes. As neither of them are professional writers I will not hold that, nor the...more
Julie Haigh
Oct 29, 2013 Julie Haigh rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone, fans of real life stories/medical stories
Recommended to Julie by: found on amazon
Excellent, inspirational read.

I have seen Hayley on TV in a few different documentaries over the years and have often wondered how she was doing and looked on the internet for any updates so I was really pleased to find that she and her mum had written this. What an amazing story, so honest. It is written from mum Kerry's point of view and frequently changes to writings from Hayley giving her views and experiences. Hayley is such a wonderful person who has got so much out of her life already and...more
Donna
This book was incredible, I am so glad that I took the time to read it. I had heard of progeria before but did not truly understand anything about it. The pressure that the family lives under is unbelievable not even counting the fear the child has. I have gone through breast cancer and thought the American Cancer Society offered a great support system but it is nothing as compared to the system that progeria has. I enjoyed the way the book was done giving both sides from the parents and the chi...more
Terri Tinkel
If you have ever been curious about Progeria which is the disease that ages people at a rate of 8x faster than normal, this is the book for you. Hayley was diagnosed at a young age but even then, the doctors only knew of one other child in the UK and 40 children in the US who had the same disease. After much exchanging of informaton between the doctors and the parents, more information was gathered and more research and understanding was shared. Currently Hayley has just celebrated her 15th birt...more
Karen (Kew)
I found this to be a gripping read, I didn't want to put it down. This is a very touching and inspirational story. Hayley's parents decided that if their daughter's life was not going to be very long, it would at least be filled with happiness and as many wonderful experiences as possible. Hayley herself sounds like a very determined and positive person. Hayley is now over 13 years old, past the usual life expectancy for a child with progeria but with exciting new drug trials taking place in ame...more
Pauline
What an insight to Progeria from a mother's perspective and the child's perspective. The book overall had redundancy but surely touches to the core of human beings-survival, reluctance, and trying to push for a cure. Hayley Okines has, so far, defied the odds in living past 13 years. She is a strong willed teenager vowing to live her life as normally as possible while still trying to raise awareness. Hope they will find a cute in Hayley's lifetime, if not be able to bridge the way for future kid...more
Diane Lybbert
Very interesting first-person story of little Hayley Okines, who was born with Progeria - a very rare condition that shortens lifespan and makes the little children look like very old people; some chapters written by her mother, others written by Hayley herself, we follow her story from birth through diagnosis and search for treatments, her parents' struggles to find help, her 'celebrity' as magazines and TV shows run stories about her and the illness; although a tragic disease, both Hayley and...more
Hilary
What an incredible book. I was vaguely aware of Hayley and the other children before reading, but not in any detail, and to see the uplifting, overwhelmingly positive attitude that Hayley has... it must be so encouraging for other families, as well as making her a blessing to those around her. She's been able to live a relatively normal life, with school, friends and sleepovers, always wanting to be as normal as possible and not getting special treatment.

Chapters alternate between Hayley's viewp...more
Chris
Very interesting true story about a girl with progeria. It gave me a better idea of the struggles with the disease.
Nicola Clough
Very well written one amazing teenager who has been through so much yet smiles through it all. Thank you for sharing your story so well.
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Share This Book

“And to all the doctors and people who said there was no hope for children with progeria and they don’t live long I want to say, ‘You’re wrong.” 1 likes
“Dying only means moving into a nicer house.
We have only gone into the next room.
We still are what we have always been.
We aren’t far away. We are only on the other side of the pathway.”
1 likes
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