She is just 12 years old but her brain has already started ageing, thus making it difficult for her to remember and recall things.
Charlea Armstead of UK is suffering from a rare neurological problem called Niemann-Pick Type C. The condition is posing problems in her mobility. Some other problems include dementia, incontinence, inability to swallow and confusion.
AdvertisementWhen Armstead turned six, she started having difficulty in holding pen. She also had problems in coordination. A few years later cartoplexy struck her when she would drop to the floor each time she laughs.
Her mother Danielle Craig, 29, said, "We were told she may never walk or talk properly and if she did she would lose these skills at an early age. Rarely do people with NPD-C live into their teens."
Craig realised something was amiss when Armstead was a newborn. She appeared jaundiced and had a swollen stomach. It was then that doctors diagnosed the problem of Niemann-Pick.
Only 82 people in the UK suffer from this disorder and Armstead is one of them. Across the globe, it is estimated that there are 500 such cases. At present, the problem has no treatment.
The disease also leads to formation of excessive cholesterol in cells which ultimately affects her brain and other organs. Armstead cannot recall people's names and she often repeats herself. She also forgets where things are kept, said her mother.
But Craig is not losing hope. She is always with her daughter, boosting her morale and encouraging her. Craig wants to spread awareness about this degenerative condition and is thus highlighting Armstead's bravery acts.
Armstead loves to dance and her condition did not deter her from joining professional ballet dancers on stage at a rehearsal of Swan Lake in Manchester, at a special day out arranged by the Make A Wish Foundation in 2009.
Armstead's seven-year-old brother Tyler is always by her side to help her in reading, writing, drawing and other works. Tyler says he wants to be a doctor when he grows up so that he can treat his sister. May his wish come true!