A woman is forced to live like a vampire to help protect her from a rare, one-in-a-million condition that makes her skin highly sensitive to sunlight - too much of which could prove fatal.
Andrea Ivonne Monroy, 28, has to stay indoors during the day, with tinted windows for extra protection.
She suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, which means her skin is highly sensitive to sunlight and prone to developing skin cancers.
In fact, Andrea said she has had skin cancer 28 times since she was a child, and has also been plunged into early menopause from the age of 23.
Andrea, a blogger from California, said: "It has taken me a long time but I have accepted who I am.
"I've embraced my condition and I no longer feel like I am missing out.
"My condition means my body grows older faster and I believe that's why I started to have hot flushes at 23.
"I felt relieved when I got the diagnosis four years later as it put my mind at ease.
"I've never had a desire to become a mum so it doesn't really affect me."
People with xeroderma pigmentosum have an average life expectancy of just 37, but Andrea is determined to remain positive about her future.
She takes all precautions to reduce the risks of her condition, but sometimes has to go outside to medical appointments.
She explained: "I can only go out during the night and I have to carry a solar metre at all times to check the UV everywhere I go.
"I only ever go out in the day if I have a doctor's appointment and I must wear protective clothing.
"Even if it is cloudy or raining, I have to wear long sleeves, hats and a face shield.
"It can sometimes get me down and I have the odd meltdown but I know I am doing the best I can.
"And the condition is something I can't control."
Throughout her life, Andrea has had to undergo multiple surgeries to remove skin cancer, her most recent diagnosis being in October 2020.
She said: "It wasn't the first time I have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma cancer.
"I have also had melanoma and many pre-cancerous cells.
"It is heartbreaking as I do my very best to protect my skin.
"I even have tinted windows and super thick curtains.
"It is hard having my condition and sometimes I feel like I can't do it anymore but I love my life and want to be here.
"I am grateful that I'm here and alive."
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