Something remarkable happened on Friday inside a home in South Bay: A teenager looked out her bedroom window.
The curtains at Andrea's Chula Vista home are always closed -- in fact, the 17-year-old's life depends on it.
As a baby, Andrea's parents noticed she got freckles after a day at the beach. It took doctors more than a year to figure out she had xeroderma pigmentosum, or XP. Her body cannot repair damage to the DNA in the skin caused by the sun's UV rays.There are only 250 known cases in the United States.
Since she was a baby, Andrea has had countless skin cancers removed. Now, the teen can only go outside when it's dark.
"It was a little bit hard, because when I go out and people will stare at me and stuff like that, and I was like, 'Why are they staring at me?' But then I got it and I was OK with it," Andrea said.
On Friday, Andrea go a visit from Michele Milota, who carries a light meter everywhere because she has a personal connection to Andrea's very rare genetic condition: Her daughter Aimee has XP, too.
"Minutes of sun exposure can cause third-degree burns and premature skin cancer," Milota said.
Milota and her daughter were visiting Andrea for a very special reason. Along with, Gregg McKay, they were in town to help make Andrea's life a lot brighter.
McKay was installing special film that blocks 99.9 percent of UV rays on every window in the house. His company, Nu Vue, did the $2,000 job for free.
"I think this is probably one of the most rewarding jobs we've ever done," McKay said.
McKay began the job in Andrea's room, where, up until now, three layers of drapes have always covered the windows.
"I have never, like, opened the windows and felt the sun," Andrea said.
Soon, Milota's light meter was reading near zero.
"I can feel the sun -- this is so cool," Andrea said.
Andrea wanted to share her story because she hopes to help educate people about XP, for which, unfortunately, there is no cure.