Junrey Balawing is a happy young man - Because today June 12th, is his 18th birthday and also, the day when the 23.6 inches tall lad receives the title of the world's shortest man, from the officials at the Guinness Book of World Records.
Born in the tiny village of Zamboanga del Norte in the Philippines, Junrey was a normal child except for one thing - He stopped growing when he turned one. Though his mother took him to the doctor several times, they could never figure out what was wrong. They recommended some vitamins, but unfortunately his parents could not afford to buy them and nor could they afford the specialists in Manila who were demanding 100,000 pesos (about $2,000 USD), to examine him. Experts now believe that his short stature may have been the result of an endocrine imbalance combined with a lack of growth hormones.
Thanks to his size and the fact that he cannot walk for too long, Junrey does not attend school like his three younger siblings who are of normal size. Instead, he has to stay at home under the full-time care of his mother.
His parents are therefore quite excited that their eldest son will finally get a chance to lead an exciting life and even travel around the world, something they could never afford for him to do. Meanwhile Junrey is just beaming with pride and joy at being the world's smallest man.
Congratulations and a very Happy 18th Birthday Junrey!
Resources: dailymail.co.uk, montreal gazette.com, msnbc.com