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Matej Peljhan: Le Petit Prince

Summer 2013
WHAT ONCE LUKA COULD ONLY DREAM AND DRAW, Slovenian photographer Matej Peljhan brings to life in his series of photographs entitled “Le Petit Prince.” Luka, 12, has spinal muscular atrophy, an often-fatal motor neuron disease that results in weakness and muscle wasting. Peljhan, himself disabled by unexploded ordnance left over from World War II while playing as a child, photographed Luka from above as he lay on the ground miming activities such as swimming and skateboarding. Treatments for SMA are primarily supportive and include mobility and breathing assistance devices, though researchers are now working to develop a variety of treatments including gene therapy, stem cell therapy and pharmaceuticals to address the underlying genetic or cellular defects.

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