Little Girl's Big Eyes Caused By Rare Genetic Condition
One-year-old Mehlani Martinez often gets compliments for her big eyes.
Mehlani suffers from Axenfeld-Gieger syndrome, meaning her pupils take over the larger part of her because of small irises.
The larger pupil means that Mehlani is extra sensitive to light and must wear sunglasses outside to prevent damage to her eyes.
She has also recently been diagnosed with glaucoma caused by increased pressure inside the eyeball, and is suffered by 50 percent of those with Axenfeld-Gieger.
At only five-months-old, Mehlani had artificial drainage canals implanted into her eyes to prevent pressure building behind her eyes caused by excess fluid.
Karina posts regular updates of her daughter's condition on Twitter, and hopes her daughter will find herself beautiful when she is older.
When Mehlani's eyes are complimented, Karina never knows how she should respond, or if she should mention her daughter's condition.
"Every time were out & a stranger compliments on how big & beautiful her eyes are, I have a mental debate on whether or not I should mention her defect," she said.
"I decide no, smile & say thank you. I’m always left with a weird feeling. I just pray she’ll always know how beautiful she is."
To celebrate her birthday earlier this month, Karina organised to a party to fundraise for the Children's Glaucoma Foundation, to raise awareness for her daughter's condition.
Feature Image: Twitter/ Karina Ortega