If you're a CATS Fan you have probably said one time or another "I Bleed Blue".  Did you know there were actual real-life "blue" skinned people living in the hills of Kentucky years ago?

Martin Fugate came from France where he had been orphaned.  He moved to Kentucky in the 1800s.  Hazard County is where he began his life and eventually would meet the woman that would be his wife, Elizabeth Smith.  Elizabeth was also from the same area and there were not a lot of people living in the town.

Here is where it gets weird.  Not knowing, Elizabeth carried a recessive gene called methemoglobinemia.  The met-H gene was a commonality in her family that she was not told about.

Eventually, the Fugates reproduced.  Since they lived in such a rural part of Kentucky there wasn't much of an option for marrying.  The people began marrying within the families causing many of the children to have the met-H gene.

All of the family members became outcasts and moved deep into the hills of Kentucky.  This made it even harder to meet others and the intermarriages we even more intertwined.

The families stayed in Troublesome Creek away from others.  No one really knew about them until a brother and sister decided to go to a local doctor to find out why their skin was blue.

Dr. Madison Cawein III did a thorough examination of both siblings finding them to be in good condition physically other than their blue skin and other symptoms believed to be brought on by the met-H gene.

According to Wikipedia; Cawein treated the family with methylene blue, which eased their symptoms and reduced the blue coloring of their skin.  He eventually published his research in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1964.

When the railroad system arrived through the mountains and towns it helped to lessen the amount of intermarital relationships and Kentucky's "Blue" People became a thing of the past.

According to onlyinyourstate;

The last descendant of the fugates was born in the mid 1970s and was born with the blue skin trait of methemoglobinemia.  Some of the fugates may still be living today.  The family has been a source of curiosity over the decades and has been featured on several different television series, such as Travel Channel and ABC specials. In reality, the blue people in Kentucky are just normal people who happen to have a unique color.

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