18-year-old living with two forms of muscular dystrophy - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

18-year-old living with two forms of muscular dystrophy

Mariah's chasing her dreams in her own way. Mariah's chasing her dreams in her own way.

At 18-years-old, a recent Scott City grad has faced more challenges than any of us can likely begin to imagine.

Mariah Schott has not one, but two forms of muscular dystrophy. Despite her limitations, she's reaching for the stars.

She is known for her contagious laugh, and love of life.

"I love to sing, and I absolutely love to write," said Mariah Schott. 

Mariah is a typical teenager in mind and spirit, but in body faces uphill battles each and everyday.

"Most don't see what she goes through in a day," said Cindy Schott. 

Mariah's parents knew early on that something might be wrong.

"After she was born, her legs were really stiff," said Cindy Schott. 

She didn't crawl, and never walked on her own.

"At that point we realized something wasn't right," said Cindy. 

The initial diagnosis was Cerebral Palsy. Then about five years ago that changed when doctors told Mariah that she has two forms of muscular dystrophy.

"She has Charcot Marie Tooth that affects her extremities, she will go numb and has gone numb from her knees down and from her elbows down," said Cindy Schott. "She also has HSP which is Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia that has to do with spasticity and tightness in her lower limbs."

Mariah is in pain on a daily basis.

"For example, she at night has sleeping pads on her hands and legs because she's in so much pain," said Cindy. 

Adding insult to injury, the Schott's say doctors are still not sure exactly what Mariah has.

While her health remains a mystery, there's no secret how much this young lady means to those around her.

"I'm so proud of my daughter for going about her day even with challenges," said Jeff Schott-Mariah's Father. 

Mariah has accepted her disability, but has faced many challenging days when she wanted more.

"All my friends are walking, doing sports, and they were on stage," said Mariah. "Basically my entire life I've been watching that."

On the sidelines, she dreamed.

"Gymnastics, I always wanted to try that," said Mariah. 

She tries not to focus on the question "why" these days, and instead focuses on her strengths.

"I'm very proud, I can type up to 30 words a minute," said Mariah. 

She loves to read as well, and spend time with her family.

"Usually what I tell Mariah is everything happens for a reason, and that I feel like she was brought into this world to make an impact."

She is a true inspiration to those around her.

"She doesn't whine and carry on, she just goes," said Jeff Schott. 

Mariah's chasing her dreams in her own way. 

"In five years I want to be somewhere on stage singing or have a book published," said Mariah. 

She is already working on that book, hoping to one day share her story of struggle and inspiration with the world.

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