Cate Zavtiz


Cate was born with Ichthyosis, a rare, genetic disease that makes her skin thick, dry, and cracked. Due to Cate’s Ichthyosis, formally called Lamellar Ichthyosis or ARCI, she does not have the ability to sweat. Affecting less than 1 in 300,000 people internationally, her disease is the result of an autosomal recessive chromosomal abnormality, and there is no cure. Cate will have Ichthyosis for the rest of her life. To combat her extremely dry skin, she takes long baths (sometimes up to an hour and a half!) in salt, baking soda, and sometimes bleach. She also has excessive amounts of lotion and cream applied to her skin multiple times a day. Ichthyosis is a life threatening condition that limits a lot of what Cate is able to do physically. To keep Cate from overheating, the room temperature has to be kept at 68 degrees year round, including her classroom at school and when she goes on play dates. She also wears an ice vest when her body temperature goes over 99 degrees to keep her from fainting, having a seizure, or even dying.