18 -year-old, Ontlametse Phalatse has never let hardship stand in her way.

Ontlametse, from Hebron, outside Mabopane in Tshwane, has once again made her family proud after passing matric.

Ontlametse said she was in and out of hospital for three months before her year-end examinations, this time with heart complications.

She was the first black child in the world to be diagnosed with progeria, a rare disease that makes the body age rapidly.

Doctors did not think she would live to see her 14th birthday, but she turned 18 in May.

She said she wants to be a life coach and motivational speaker.

“I will devote myself to making children courageous,” she said.

Ontlametse in 2013 went to the US to try new medication.

Since then she has been flying to the country for medical examinations and progress reports.