Marfan syndrome is a heritable condition that affects men, women, and children, and is basically a connective tissue disorder. Connective tissues hold the body together and provide a framework for its growth and development. The connective tissues in the body of a person having this syndrome are defective and do not perform their functions normally. There are no specific symptoms or diagnostic tests for the people affected by this kind of syndrome, but they often have many similar traits. These traits may include heart problems, tapering fingers, long arms and legs, and eye problems.
As connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan syndrome can affect the skeleton, eyes, heart, blood vessels, nervous system, skin, and lungs. In critical cases, it can prove to be fatal at any age. The disorder was named after Antoine Marfan, who was a French pediatrician. Antoine first described the syndrome in 1896, and the gene linked to the disease was first identified by Francesco Ramirez in 1991.
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, and was the 16th president of the United States of America. He was affected by the Marfan syndrome. His formal education consisted of just 18 months approximately. However, he was self-educated and a voracious reader. He was also a talented wrestler and had a goodwill in his locality. Lincoln was married to Mary Todd on November 4, 1842. Mary was the daughter of a prominent slave-owning family, and because of the couple's relative poverty after marriage, she had to make a lot of compromises. Lincoln was an outspoken opponent of slavery in the United States. He won the Republican Party nomination and was elected as the president of the United States in 1860. Instead of campaigning on the road, he gained a majority of the votes with the help of local Republican Party offices throughout the north. Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865.
Mary Queen of Scots
Mary Queen of Scots was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V, who ruled Scotland from 14th December 1542 to 24th July 1567. She was married to Francis, Dauphin of France in 1558, and he ascended the French throne as Francis II in 1559. Francis II died on 5th December 1560 and after his death, Mary returned to Scotland on 19th August 1561. She was affected by the Marfan syndrome. She was executed for treason on February 8, 1587.
Niccolò Paganini was born on October 27, 1782, in Genoa, Italy. He was a famous guitarist and composer, and one of the most celebrated violinists of his time. Paganini started learning mandolin at the age of 5, from his father. However, two years later his interest shifted to violin. His musical talents earned him numerous scholarships for violin lessons. He was a patient of Marfan Syndrome and died on May 27, 1840.
Vincent Andrew Schiavelli was born on November 11, 1948, in Brooklyn, New York. He was a famous American actor who worked in many Hollywood movies and television shows. His first movie was Taking Off, which released in 1971. In this movie, he played the role of a counselor for parents whose teens smoked marijuana. In 1985, he was married to actress Allyce Beasley and the relationship lasted for three years. Schiavelli suffered from Marfan syndrome and served the National Marfan Foundation, an organization for those affected by it. He died of lung cancer on December 26th, 2005.
Besides the people mentioned above, there were other prominent figures like Jonathan Larson, Flo Hyman, and Sergei Rachmaninoff, who were also patients of Marfan syndrome.