Shiloh Pepin appeared on The Oprah Show on September 22, 2009, just one month before her untimely death.
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 told Oprah. "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 was one of only six people in the world living with "mermaid syndrome."
Wiser than her 10 years, Shiloh lived life to the fullest and never stopped planning for her future. "I feel like everything's possible," she said. "I want to have a normal future like everybody else. ... It's hard to decide what I want to be when I grow up. There are so many choices. An actress, or a princess. Anything I want to be."
Shiloh appeared on The Oprah Show with her parents, Leslie and Elmer. "I believe she's here to just pay testimony that the human spirit is incredible and you can achieve your dreams as long as you have the will and the drive and the spirit," Elmer said. "And she definitely has that, no doubt about it."
On October 22, 2010, Shiloh died of pneumonia.
Shiloh's visit to The Oprah Show