9/23/02 - Tough Battle - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

9/23/02 - Tough Battle

A little Heartland girl is fighting for her life and her family's praying she beats the odds and survives a rare disease. 13-month-old Audrey Lawrence's battle started when she was just five months old. Audrey's family has come together with one mission, to save their little girls life.

Her mother Amie, says, "It's the worst thing I have ever been through." Her mother had a normal pregnancy, but Audrey's parents knew something was wrong when she was just a few months old. "She couldn't hold her head up, couldn't hold toys, she wasn't responding, wasn't doing things a normal baby should," Amie says.

After six months of doctors' visits, the little girl faced a disease with a big name, mitochondrial myopathy, a neuromuscular disease. There are big implications, the disease affects her muscles and there's no cure.

"She doesn't speak, hearing can come and go, we still don't know how good her hearing is," Amie says. "She doesn't sit up, walk, or crawl and her eyes are starting to drift already." Audrey can't open her eyes at night, and has to sleep sitting up in a chair, otherwise she might choke to death.

A child her age should be advancing month by month, but for Audrey each month is worse and she can do less. "Eventually it can progress to her brain and heart and take her life, we just don't know when," Amie says. Audrey's parents have insurance, but insurance doesn't cover everything, that's why Audrey's family has set up cans at local restaurants and businesses in Perryville, along with doing other events around the community, to raise money so little Audrey can get the medical care she needs. There are only three doctors in the country who can help Audrey and one visit could cost the family as much as 25 thousand dollars. Doctors have to break down Audrey's DNA to find out what kind of treatment she needs.

If you're touched by this story, again there are cans set up across Perryville to make a donation. There's also a special fund you can donate to at any Bank of Missouri.

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