A 12-year-old girl is battling a rare disease that is also causing her to suffer from dementia.
Charlea Armstead, from Oldham, England, was diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C, a rare, incurable brain disease, when she was two months old, according to the Mirror.
Armstead is gradually losing her memory and motor function due to the disease, which affects only 82 people in the United Kingdom, the newspaper reported.
“We don’t know when this cruel disease will take Charlea,” Danielle Craig, Charlea’s mother, said.
“We were told it could be two years or 10. Charlea is 12 and she’s still fighting,” Craig said.
There are four different variations of the disease— Type A, Type B, Type C and Type D— and each cause involves different organs. Charlea’s disease, Type C, usually affects school-aged children. Patients of Type C experience difficulty moving limbs, an enlarged spleen, an enlarged liver, learning difficulties, seizures, irregular speech, and walking problems, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Charlea defied the odds early on by learning to walk and talk after doctors told her parents she may never do either. But at age 6, she starting having trouble with her coordination, Craig told the Daily Mail.
According to the NIH, patients suffering from Type C may not live to school age, and those who do may live into their mid-to-late teens.
“She has big dreams for a wonderful life. I just hope a cure is found soon so all of her wishes come true,” Craig said.