Social media star Adalia Rose Williams, who was a force for positivity and brought heightened awareness of the rare genetic condition from which she suffered, died last week at the age of 15, as Fox News reports.
Williams’ Instagram page revealed the sad news in a post that read, “January 12, 2022 at 7pm, Adalia Rose Williams was set free from this world. She came into it quietly and left quietly, but her life was far from it. She touched MILLIONS of people and left the biggest imprint in everyone that knew her. She is no longer in pain and is now dancing away to all the music she loves.”
According to reports, Williams was diagnosed at roughly three months of age with Hutchinson-Guilford progeria syndrome, a genetic disease which causes children to experience rapid physiological aging beginning at around age two.
Also known as “Benjamin Button Disease,” Hutchinson-Guilford syndrome is the result of a single genetic mutation, though it is not an inherited condition, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Information from the National Organization of Rare Disorders indicates just how rare the disorder is, noting that only 400 or so children across the world are living with progeria at any given time, and while their average life span is 13 years, some may survive upwards of 20 years.
Having made her social media debut nine years ago through a video in which she sang “Jesus Loves Me,” Williams’ online following grew to over 15 million fans spread across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, platforms on which she shared uplifting personal stories, makeup tips, and more, as NBC News noted.
Word of her passing sparked an outpouring of condolences and expressions of appreciation for Williams on social media, with fashion designer Michael Costello posting a particularly touching tribute that included a photo of his young friend wearing a formal gown he created just for her.
“Adalia has been so special to every single person that she met,” wrote Costello, who added that “despite the cards she was dealt with, she had the most positive attitude and such big dreams of helping everyone around her.”
Williams will clearly be missed by millions around the world who closely followed her profound journey and benefited greatly from the perseverance, wisdom and joy she exemplified.