Shauna Rae has certainly come a long way.
The 22-year-old brain cancer survivor and her family have landed a new TLC reality series, I Am Shauna Rae, premiering tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 11. Standing at 3 feet, 10 inches, Shauna is often mistaken for a child, and as she explains in the docuseries trailer, she is a "woman stuck in the body of an 8-year-old."
Shauna's past rare illness affected her ability to grow, and while the series will follow her ongoing medical issues, Shauna exclusively told E! News that while her ailments may be uncommon, she is certainly not alone.
"There's not a lot of people like me but there are people out there who, like me, just feel different in any way," Shauna said. "When the trailer came out, it was kind of like I was worldwide almost overnight. People have reached out to me; I have found other people with pituitary dwarfism, and it's really not only helped me, but helped them because now we know that we're not alone."
And Shauna's family similarly looks to the positive when tackling the day-to-day.
"We don't want to focus on the negative or all the bad, critical issues," Shauna revealed. "It shows my struggles and my family's struggles with my condition—and it shows our personal struggles too, because every human being has things they have to go through. Mine is being short. I think it's a really cool to capture how a family that has differences perseveres through it."
From celebrating holidays together to family vacations, bachelorette parties and even preparing for Shauna's sister's wedding, I Am Shauna Rae captures the Rae family's milestone moments.
"I think what people can look forward to is honestly just seeing what my family dynamic is and how we go around my disability," Shauna added. "It's not just me going through the situations; it's my family going through this too. [The show] was just a really nice way to actually have family time."
Plus, Shauna will give fans a sneak peek at her dating life—complete with her taking pole dancing classes and ordering drinks at a bar after turning 21.
"There's a lot of potential with a couple people that I've talked to," Shauna teased. "It's a great opportunity to meet people that understand me fully, and I think I'm going to make a lot of amazing friendships through this—and if a relationship happens out of one of those friendships, then it does. I'm not really looking for a relationship. If it happens, it happens."
Shauna continued, "I've had relationships in the past that haven't worked out so great because of my size. It's been a burden on them, in one way or another, and seeing how many people are positive about my experience, it gives me hope that other people like me will also have that positivity."
Looking ahead to the premiere of her ground-breaking series and 2022 as a whole, Shauna revealed that she hopes to continue adding to her accolades. "I hope to dive deeper into my career goals," Shauna noted, citing working with animals, kickstarting an acting career and venturing into the fashion world with an emphasis on differently-abled body types among her interests.
She added, "I hope to start driving. I hope that I can start helping my community of short people and anyone who feels different in any way. I'm hoping to meet other people with similar circumstances or situations to me because I just want to find people that I can relate to."
All in all, it's clear I Am Shauna Rae will not only introduce us all to Shauna, but also hopefully make the world a little smaller—and a whole lot more empathetic.
"I think it will be kind of world-changing for the way people view people," Shauna summed up.
Watch the trailer above!
I Am Shauna Rae premieres Tuesday, Jan. 11 on TLC.