Indian boy fighting aging disorder gets his wish

NEW DELHI - An Indian boy living with a rare genetic aging disorder has had his dream come true -- to meet Asimo.

On Tuesday afternoon, 15-year-old Nihal Bitla was staring at the stage inside a venue for an upcoming auto show in Greater Noida, outside New Delhi, when Asimo appeared and greeted him like an old friend. "Hi, Nihal! How are you?"

Asimo, the humanoid robot developed by Japanese automaker Honda Motor, stood on one leg, kicked a soccer ball and danced to a cheerful Indian song.

Nihal clapped his small, frail hands. After the performance, he went up to the stage and took a selfie with Asimo. "I've become friends with Asimo!" he said afterward, a smile on his face.

Nihal lives with his family in the suburbs of Mumbai, India's commercial hub. He is shy, like many 15-year-olds, but has had progeria, or Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, ever since birth.

There are no known cures for the disorder. Sufferers experience rapid aging, such as sever hardening of the arteries, and can expect to live only to 14 on average.

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