WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — A West Covina man with an extremely rare growth condition is overcoming his physical challenges to help others.
Jeff Kloythanomsup, 24, is legally blind, but captures protests and marches on video to live stream on the Internet.
Kloythanomsup said his visual impairment is caused by Hallermann–Streiff syndrome, a congenital disorder that affects less than 200 people in the world.
“From what I know, it’s a very sporadic syndrome. It doesn’t matter what genes your parents have, but when someone gets Hallermann–Streiff syndrome, it affects their height, their hair growth, their vision…just any bone or muscular growth that needs to occur is not occurring at the right speed,” he said.
Kloythanomsup said it’s tough to do the volunteer video job with his disabilities.
“Getting the right height (for the camera) is a big issue…to reach above people and capture the right moments. Or if there’s an arrest going on, I need to be able to run to get there,” he said.
Kloythanomsup, who stands at just 4 feet 11 inches tall, said he has back problems and doesn’t know how much longer he’ll have to see.
“There are a lot of people who have it worse than me, really. I may have some physical difficulties, and disabilities, but it hasn’t stopped me from noticing other people who may be in wheelchairs or who may not be able to have their voices heard at all. And I think it’s more important to focus on societal issues rather than myself even though every day I struggle,” he said.
The San Francisco State University graduate will begin an IT administration job in a few weeks.