Marc Zider has spent more than a quarter of his life in the hospital.
At just 4-feet, 11-inches tall and weighing 90 pounds, the 19-year-old Iowa University freshman is trapped in the body of an 11-year-old, The Daily Iowan reports.
He is forced to withstand constant pain and lethargy. His arms are covered from top to bottom with needle marks. A native of Barrington, Ill., Marc has also become a live guinea pig for doctors who say they've never seen anything like him, but are learning more about each of his diseases as time goes on.
Marc suffers from numerous illnesses including pancreatitis, kidney failure, low blood count, a susceptible immune system, intestinal ulcers, gout, high blood pressure and cholesterol. He takes 12 daily medications, according to the Iowan.
His illness means that his pancreas devours itself, his intestines are lined in sores and his kidneys function at only 25 percent.
"I've struggled most with the 'why me?' "Zider told the Iowan. “I don't pretend there aren't others with problems, but ultimately, I ask, 'Why me?' "
Although Zider's conditions aren't terminal, every day life is a struggle.
His contribution to science is of no solace to him, however. With no cure in sight, Zider told The Daily Iowan that each day he has one goal: just get through it.