Along with millions of other schoolchildren in Thailand, Supattra Sasuphan has just been issued with her national ID card.
But this 11-year-old, also known as Nong Nat, stands out from her classmates – because she is officially recognised as the world’s hairiest girl.
Supattra is one of just 50 known sufferers of Ambras Syndrome – caused by a faulty chromosome – to be documented since the Middle Ages. Before the disease was understood, those afflicted with it were branded ‘werewolves’.
She has thick hair growing over her face, ears, arms, legs and back. Even laser treatment has failed to stop the hair growth.
Under the 2011 Identity Card Act, all Thai citizens from the age of seven onwards must have ID cards to distinguish them from foreigners so that they can get access to national health services.
And yesterday, Supattra and other pupils between the ages of seven and 14 were given theirs.
Although she has faced merciless teasing at school, Supattra says being given a Guinness World Record for her hair has helped her become extremely popular.
‘I’m very happy to be in the Guinness World Records! A lot of people have to do a lot to get in,’ she said. ‘All I did was answer a few questions and then they gave it to me.’
While most sufferers have been shunned, Supattra – who attends Rajabopit school in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok – has gradually been embraced by her community, and became a popular and outgoing child.
She said: ‘There were a few people who used to tease me and call me monkey face but they don’t do it any more.
‘I’m very used to this condition. I can’t feel the hair as it has always been like this. I don’t feel anything.
IDENTITY CRISIS: WHAT ABOUT THE UNDERPRIVILEGED?
The issuing of ID cards to children in Thailand has sparked a backlash from children’s rights groups in the country.
Montree Sinthawichai, secretary-general of the Child Protection Foundation believes it could lead to further discrimination against youngsters from marginalised groups.
Issuing of the children’s ID cards started this week but some underprivileged groups cannot apply for them, he said.
These groups include the homeless, the disabled, the poor, the neglected and youths in prison.
Mr Montree said: ‘This will affect the dignity of being human and put more pressure on [underprivileged children] who do not have the right of equal access to public services in this country.’
Thailand has about 8 million citizens aged seven to 14.
But Mr Montree is concerned that marginalised groups are being banned from access to health services.
He cited the Child Protection Act, which states that the government must provide medical services to all children, with or without ID cards.
‘It does sometimes make it difficult to see when it gets long. I hope I will be cured one day.’
In other ways Supattra is the same as other children her age – she loves swimming, dancing to her favourite music and playing with friends.
But more than anything, Supattra loves perching in front of the TV at her tiny one-bedroom family home in Pranakom, on the outskirts of Bangkok, to watch cartoons.
She said: ‘I like to watch anything on TV, whatever is, I like having it on. I like to watch Bugs Bunny.’
The bubbly little girl is also determined not to let her condition prevent her from leading a normal life.
She said: ‘I like to study maths so I can be good at it and teach it to younger children so they can do it too.
‘I want to become a doctor so I can help patients when they get injured.
‘I want to help people who get hurt and help cure people.’
But Supattra’s future didn’t always look so promising. When she was first born she had to undergo two operations just to breathe.
Her father Sammrueng, 38, said: ‘We found out Supattra’s condition when she was born – we did not know before.
‘She was not very healthy because her nostrils were only 1mm wide. For the first three months she was kept in an incubator to help her breathe.She was in the hospital for a total of ten months. We were very worried about her.’
Supattra has another operation when she was two and can now breathe normally.
But when Sammrueng and his wife Somphon, 38, brought SupatTra home to live with them and their other daughter Sukanya, now 15, they faced more problems.
‘When neighbours first saw Nat they asked what kind of sin I had done. I was very worried about what she would be when she grew up because of other children teasing her,’ he said.
But Supattra’s sweet nature quickly won over people in her community.
Sammrueng, a jewellery maker, said: ‘She gets along with others really well and is very generous. She has a lot of friends.
‘She is just the same as any other little girl her age.
‘But her teeth grow slowly and she can’t see very well.”
Doctors tried to remove the hair with laser treatment when she was two but despite numerous sessions it kept growing back as thickly as before.
Supattra’s hair has got increasingly thicker as she has grown up so her mother has to cut it back regularly for her.
She uses baby shampoo to wash her hair as she is allergic to stronger brands.
Sammrueng said: ‘I still hope one day she will be cured. We will do anything we can if it will help her.’