I AM SHAUNA Rae Shauna Rae Lesick, 22, exploded with rage after a group of women ‘started taking pictures of her’ in a bar because she looked eight years old.
Shauna Rae has struggled in almost every aspect of her life since she was six months old after undergoing growth-stunning chemotherapy.
In an exclusive clip shared on PeopleShauna celebrated her older sister Tara’s bachelorette party at a bar, but began to feel pressure from onlookers pulling out their phones.
As Shauna is 3’10” due to growth hormone deficiency, she cannot stand above the bar counter and strangers begin to wonder why someone so “young” would be at inside a bar.
The outsiders don’t understand that Shauna is actually a grown woman from her looks.
As her sister Tara was pressuring Shauna to order the bartender and get a drink, Shauna started noticing a group of women taking out their phones.
Shauna felt uncomfortable drinking the flashy fishbowl cocktail, but Tara kept trying to persuade her to join the bachelorette party.
Tara urged, “You have to drink it! Right now, go.”
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Shauna replied, “I fucking can’t!”
In her confessional, Shauna expressed her frustration at her older sister’s lack of sympathy for her situation.
She said: “How do you expect me to have a drink in an 86oz bucket with long straws when I can’t even see over the bar?
“The fact that she doesn’t understand that people are looking at me, that she doesn’t understand that I’m already in an uncomfortable situation and that she’s trying to push me to do more, triggers me.”
Shauna appreciated her friends trying to include her in the festivities, but was saddened that her sister didn’t understand she was in an “extremely uncomfortable” situation.
Tara countered in her confessional that she thinks Shauna isn’t a fan of being “practical and realistic” about her sister’s struggles.
“She hates it. I think she wants sympathy and I’m not giving it to her,” Tara says. “She’s frustrated about it.”
Shauna Rae developed a rare form of brain cancer when she was just six months old and underwent chemotherapy which stunted her growth.
Shauna is now 3-foot-10, the average height of an eight-year-old girl.
On I Am Shauna Rae, she reveals the struggles associated with her youthful appearance, including having trouble dating and going to bars because everyone thinks she’s a kid.
In the show’s trailer, Shauna introduces herself saying, “If you looked at me, you’d think I’m just a normal little girl, doing normal little girl things with my crazy fun family.”
She added: “But the truth is, I’m not a little girl. I’m a woman, a 22-year-old woman stuck in the body of an eight-year-old child.”
The new show follows Shauna dealing with issues trying to do normal things that a 22-year-old woman does in everyday life.
We see Shauna getting turned down for a bar when the bartender says “we don’t allow kids”, being asked how old she is when she tries to get a tattoo, and even being asked about her age when she is trying to enroll in a Gym.
Shauna’s mother, Patricia “Patty” Schrankel, also speaks on the show about the heartbreaking time her daughter had brain cancer as a baby.
She said: “Shauna was six months old when we found out she had brain cancer.
“I feel, I guess almost guilty, that she will have to go through this for the rest of her life, so all I can do is protect her.”
Shauna explains exactly what happened after undergoing chemotherapy and how it affected her growth.
She said: “My pituitary gland has become almost inactive from the chemotherapy. The doctor told me that I have stopped growing. My bones have fused together and my height is 3 feet 10 inches.”
Shauna Rae’s stepfather Mark Schrankel has twice filed for bankruptcy as the family was $386,000 in debt years before the TLC show premiered.
The Sun exclusively revealed that Shauna’s stepfather, Mark Schrankel, filed for bankruptcy with the family twice and owed more than $386,000 in total.
Mark filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2012 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2015.
Court documents reveal that in April 2012, Mark owed his creditors $204,643.58.
The debt included a personal loan in the amount of $13,176 used for vacation expenses, clothing, food and gifts.
They racked up over $79,000 in credit card bills including Capital One, Chase, CitiBank, Lowes, Home Depot, Target.
They owed $5,768 for their repossessed Toyota and $14,556 for their repossessed Ford, among other debts.
At the time, Mark’s job was listed as self-employed, although he had no income listed, and Patricia worked as a main server at Nordstrom.
Their average monthly income was $1,187.58, while their average monthly expenses totaled $4,091.
Their four daughters were between the ages of 8 and 21 at the time.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy was canceled in July 2012.
When the family filed for bankruptcy in 2015, Mark owed $181,608.85 to creditors.
The debt included their Pennsylvania home with a judgment of $181,608.85.
Court documents claim that the house was seized.
At that time, Mark was working as a “labourer”, while his wife continued her work at Nordstrom.
The family’s average monthly income increased to $4,386.54 and their monthly expenses decreased to $3,096.67, but that was not enough to prevent the family from going into debt.
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy case was closed in January 2016.
Now living in Long Island, New York, and with the daughters of the family beginning to come of age and move out, there may be hope for the Schrankels.
The show hasn’t yet made any indication that Shauna has a job, though TLC Families earn an average of around $25,000 per episode to split among the members.
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