Shiloh Pepin has sirenomelia, or Mermaid Syndrome.
In 24 seasons of taping, Oprah has interviewed A-list celebrities, world-class athletes, even Nobel Peace Prize winners. But her favorite guests aren't necessarily famous. "They're just ordinary people who have done extraordinary things with their lives through their own tenacity and determination," Oprah says. Shiloh Pepin, a little girl with a big story, is a young dynamo doing just that.

Shiloh was born with a rare condition called sirenomelia, or Mermaid Syndrome. "[The condition is] two legs that are stuck together to make one whole leg," Shiloh says. "It's the way I was made when I was born."

Sirenomelia affects one in 70,000 pregnancies, and babies born with the condition almost never survive. When Shiloh was born, the doctors told her parents she wouldn't live for more than 72 hours. Ten years later, Shiloh is one of only six people in the world living with Mermaid Syndrome.
FROM: Weeks Before Her Sudden Death: Oprah and the Mermaid Girl
Published on September 22, 2009

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