Nepal 'werewolf' family to be treated in Kathmandu

March 25, 2012

A family suffering from a rare genetic condition in which hair grows all over the face arrived in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on Sunday for treatment of their "werewolf-like" appearance.

Devi Budhathoki, 37, her daughters, aged 13 and five, and 12-year-old son say they have endured constant humiliation because of hypertrichosis, which causes hair to sprout between their eyes and across their brows.

"My children have talked about a new life ever since we received word that the hospital was going to treat us," said Budhathoki, a farmer from the remote northwestern village of Khare, near the border with the Tibetan border.

Sufferers from hypertrichosis, also known as "werewolf syndrome", have in previous centuries been used as freakshow performers at circuses.

"My son is fed up with the mockery he is subjected to and he has told his friends that he will be back with a new face so they can no longer tease him. More than myself, I'm worried about my children," Budhathoki told AFP.

"But I am very happy that the treatment is going to be possible. We have lived under constant harassment, my kids wouldn't want to go to school because of the hair," she said.

Budhathoki and her husband Nara also have a seven-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter who have not been affected by the condition.

"The best procedure for them will be to remove the ," said Shankar Man Rai, a surgeon at the Model Hospital who will supervise their treatment.

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