‘Only 15 people in the world have my condition’: Disability activist uses TikTok to raise awareness

Glasgow photographer Dylan Lombard is using TikTok to share with the world what it’s like to live with mandibular hypoplasia, with deafness and progeroid features (MDP) – a condition so rare that only 15 people in the world have it, he says.

Dylan, 20, who has more than 400,000 followers on TikTok, said he often gets “trolled” because of how he looks.

“I wish people wouldn’t stop and stare and I wish people wouldn’t laugh,” he said.

MDP syndrome is an extremely rare and complex condition. Symptoms can include “loss of hearing, loss of fatty tissue on the cheeks, arms and legs… making it difficult to walk, especially barefoot”, Dylan told PinkNews. But, despite the pain, he attends a dance class.

“Dancing really helps me to connect with others and I believe that anyone can dance,” he said.

He creates the videos to raise awareness about his condition and share his passion for dancing and photography. He has even received a birthday message from socialite Paris Hilton.

“I think I’m an internet sensation because of the positive and kindness I bring to people. Also, when I smile I’m able to see other people smile back,” he said.

In an Instagram post at the end of last year, Lombard reflected on his social media work and wrote: “I think sharing these videos and sharing my photography and dancing has helped me show people who I am and what my passions are.”