WHEN ZAC Borland was measured for his school uniform he set a new record
The 13-year-old's shirt and trousers were the smallest the children's clothing store had ever made for a first-year pupil.
At just 3ft 9inches and 3st 6lbs, Zac is practically the same size as his eight-year-old sister Kim.
The brave teenager, who had his first day at St Maurice's High School in Cumbernauld yesterday, suffers from a very rare genetic condition, Nephropathic Cystinosis, which affects the internal organs.
There are only around 12 other cases in Scotland and 2000 worldwide.
An enzyme called cystine accumulates within the organs, forming crystals that can damage them.
Since he was one, Zac has been fed through a tube which is also used to administer medication. He must take 16 different types of drugs each day.
Zac also suffers from arthritis and Crohn's disease and spends a lot of time in a wheelchair, but despite this, he rarely complains, according to proud parents Trudi, 41, and Ronnie, 48.
Trudi said: "There was a time when his mantra was, "It's not fair" but he does really well.
"His size bothers him sometimes when he sees boys his own age doing things that he can't do."
Zac, however, says there are certain advantages to being small: "I can go on all the smaller rides."
Trudi and Ronnie, who are from Cumbernauld, realised something was wrong when Zac, their first born, was months old and didn't seem to growing at the normal rate of babies his age.
Initially they thought it was because he had been born four weeks premature. Trudi said: "It got to the stage where he wasn't putting on weight.
"He got to about eight months and he couldn't keep anything down.
"We took him to Yorkhill and they tested him for things like Cystic Fibrosis. It was two weeks before they knew.
"I think what helped was that the doctor who told us said to us 'He's got this condition, we can't cure it but we can manage it.'
"We were told it was serious but I think there was a sense of relief that we knew what it was.
Ten years ago we would have been told 'He's got this and we are sorry."
Dad Ronnie said: "You realise it's serious when there is a motorbike courier outside the hospital waiting to take his blood down to London for tests."
Doctors told the couple not to plan any more children, "in the near future."
Trudi said: "Well us being us, we ignored that and had two more."
The couple refused to be tested for the condition during Trudi's pregnancies.
The girls do not have Nephropathic Cystinosis but there is a 50% chance they are carriers and could pass it on to their own children.
Trudi has tried to keep Zac's life as normal as possible.
He recently achieved his first belt in Judo, is an avid fan of the Lord of the Rings films and has a very close bond with his doting sisters Jenny, 11, and Kim, eight.
Trudi and Ronnie are in touch with another family in Leeds who have two children affected by the condition.
Trudi said: "Just to physically come face to face with someone who knows what we are going through helps. There are days when you think, I can't do this anymore, but you've just got to get on with it.
"When he had the feeding tube in, a lot of adults would stare. I know he doesn't like it. If they would just ask what's wrong, that would be better."
The oldest person with Nephropathic Cystinosis in the UK is in his 40s. At the moment, doctors are pleased with Zac's progress but there is a possibility he may need a kidney transplant when he is older.
One of the major complications of Cystinosis is renal tubular Fanconi Syndrome, or a failure of the kidneys to reabsorb nutrients and minerals.
The family, including Zac in his wheelchair, are planning to do the Glasgow Bridges Walk- a new charity event - next month in aid of Kidney Research UK.
The Evening Times has linked up with the charity to become media partner for the sponsored walk on September 22, which is aiming to attract around 500 entrants and raise £50,000.
The entry fee is £10 for adults and £4 for children.
The event is suitable for all abilities and the charity is hoping to attract researchers and doctors as well as kidney patients, their families and friends.
To register for the event, visit http://support.kidneyresearchuk.org/events