Friendship forged through rare disease connection

Saul and George are both 12, live in County Antrim in Northern Ireland and their lives have been affected in some way by a rare disease.

They are now the best of friends, but didn’t know each other before the coronavirus pandemic.

Saul lives in Portrush and has a rare form of dwarfism that affects the way his bones grow and his lung capacity. He has been shielding during most of the pandemic.

George lives on a farm in Ballymoney, his mother has a number of rare conditions, so he and other members of his family also shielded to help protect her.

During lockdown, both of them took part in a project that encouraged young people who were shielding to film their lockdown experience.

Through the group Headliners they produced a short film that was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Saul and George now both attend the same school and have become close friends as a result of the project.

The Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnerships says that approximately one person in every 17 is affected by a rare disease.

Video journalist: Niall McCracken