|Birth: ||Jan. 8, 1993|
|Death: ||Oct. 24, 2013|
On October 24, 2013, Brooke Megan Greenberg; beloved daughter of Howard and Melanie (nee Rottenberg) Greenberg; cherished sister of Emily, Caitlin, and Carly Greenberg; adored granddaughter of Jeanne Rottenberg (nee Burkom), Mark Rottenberg, Trudy Greenberg (nee Behrend) and the late Paul Greenberg; dear niece of Esther (late Allan) Greenberg, Michael Rottenberg, and the late Susan Greenberg.
Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Sunday, October 27, at 10 am. Interment Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery - Berrymans Lane.
Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Sinai Hospital, c/o LifeBridge Health, Department of Development, 2401 W. Belvedere Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215 (please designate: The Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital) or Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21208.
In mourning at 16 Deer Creek Ct, Reisterstown, MD 21136, through Tuesday.
Brooke Greenberg (January 8, 1993 – October 24, 2013) was an American from Reisterstown, Maryland, who remained physically and cognitively similar to a toddler, despite her increasing age. She was about 30 inches (76 cm) tall, weighed about 16 pounds (7.3 kg), and had an estimated mental age of nine months to one year. Brooke's doctors termed her condition "Syndrome X".
Brooke was born on January 8, 1993, to Jewish parents Howard and Melanie Greenberg at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, one month before her due date, weighing just four pounds (1.8 kg). She was born with anterior hip dislocation, a condition that caused her legs to be swiveled upwards toward her shoulders; it was corrected surgically. Otherwise, Brooke appeared to be a normal infant.
In her first six years, she went through a series of unexplained medical emergencies from which she recovered. She had seven perforated stomach ulcers. She also suffered a seizure. This was followed by what was later diagnosed as a stroke; weeks later, no damage was detected. At age five, Brooke had a mass in her brain that caused her to go into a coma for 14 days. The doctors diagnosed the mass as a brain tumor. She later awoke, and physicians found no tumor present. Brooke's pediatrician, Dr. Lawrence Pakula, states that the source of her sudden illness remains a mystery.
During an interview on the talk show Katie, her father stated that between the ages of four and five, she stopped growing.
Over several years, the Greenbergs visited many specialists, looking for an explanation for their daughter's strange condition, yet there was no diagnosis of any known genetic syndrome or chromosomal abnormality. In 2001, when Dateline documented Brooke, she was still the size of a six-month-old infant, weighing just 13 lb (5.9 kg) at 30 inches (76 cm) tall. The family still had no explanation. Brooke's mother Melanie said, "They [the specialists] just said she'll catch up. Then we went to the nutritionist, the endocrinologist. We tried the growth hormone…". The growth hormone treatment had no effect. Howard, Brooke's father, said: "I mean she did not put on an ounce or she did not grow an inch … That's when I knew there was a problem." After the growth hormone administration failed, the doctors, unable to diagnose a known condition, named her condition Syndrome X.
The Greenbergs made many visits to nearby Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and even took Brooke to New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, searching for information about their daughter's condition. When geneticists sequenced Greenberg's DNA, they found that the genes associated with the premature aging diseases were normal, unlike the mutated versions in patients with Werner syndrome and progeria.
In 2006, Richard Walker, PhD in endocrine physiology of the University of South Florida College of Medicine, said that Brooke's body was not developing as a coordinated unit, but as independent parts that were out of synchronization. She was never diagnosed with any known genetic disorder or chromosomal abnormality that would help explain why. Her telomeres seemed to be shortening at the normal rate.
In 2009, Walker said: "There've been very minimal changes in Brooke's brain … Various parts of her body, rather than all being at the same stage, seem to be disconnected." Walker noted that Greenberg's brain, for example, was not much more mature than that of a newborn infant. He estimated her mental age at around nine months to a year old. Brooke could make gestures and recognize sounds, but could not speak. Her bones were like those of a ten-year-old, and she still had her baby teeth, which had an estimated developmental age of about eight years. Said Walker, "We think that Brooke's condition presents us with a unique opportunity to understand the process of aging." "Different parts of her body are developing at different rates, as if they were not a unit but parts of separate organisms," Walker explained. Dr. Walker did not say whether the genes responsible for development are the same ones responsible for aging.
Brooke Greenberg died suddenly on October 24, 2013, at the Herman and Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai Medical Center in Baltimore (the same hospital where she had been born in 1993). Her funeral service took place on October 27, 2013, and that same morning, she was buried at Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery - Berrymans Lane, in Reisterstown, Maryland. The cause of her death was Bronchomalacia, a medical condition usually occurring in children, which results in difficult breathing due to weak cartilage in the walls of the bronchial tubes.
More information can be found if she is Googled.
Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery
Created by: Linda Rice Sutphin
Record added: Oct 29, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 119466865