When you think of Alzheimer’s or dementia, the word “children” most likely doesn’t come to mind.
But one family is sharing their story of their daughter, who sadly suffers from a childhood version of the condition.
In 2020, 7-year-old Haidyn Fowler was diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, which is similar to Alzheimer’s in that it attacks the brain.
Unfortunately, it also attacks the central nervous system and deteriorates the body, which leads to seizures, movement disorders, pain, and sadly, the loss of bodily functions.
The life expectancy for someone with this condition is between 10 and 20 years.
While Haidyn was born with it, her body took years to deteriorate, and now she is always in pain and unable to speak. Although she is seven years old, she has the mental capacity of an 18-month-old.
Despite her condition, Haidyn still smiles, laughs and enjoys her days.
Although there is no treatment or cure for Sanfilippo syndrome, the Fowlers are working to help find a cure by holding fundraisers to raise money for research. They also raise awareness by advocating on social media and within their community.
“She’s taught me so much, but definitely that it’s the little things in life that we take for granted the most,” Carrie, Haidyn’s mom, told GMA. “We love a lot harder. And we fight every day to be really happy for her even despite all the heartbreak that we have to deal with too. We try to focus on being happy for her because she deserves that.”
Hear more of Haidyn’s story in the video below: