Family takes steps to combat rare disease

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Abbeville, AL (WSFA) – This weekend, people from all over the state will be walking to raise money for a disease you've probably never heard before, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

Among them will be a family from Abbeville that's been fighting the rare disease for seven years.

On the surface, Jessica Sanders seems like your average seven year old girl.

Her favorite hobby is climbing a tree in her yard and riding her bike.

But beneath her carefree smile, she's been battling TSC, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on her brain, heart, kidneys and skin.

It all started when Jessica was nine months old; her parents noticed something just wasn't right.

After rounds of tests, doctors delivered the news that would forever change their lives.

Jessica's mother Lisa said, "The doctor said that she has TSC, and that she would have to live with this for her whole live.  He said there was no cure, and those words were devastating."

But instead of dwelling on their hardship, they decided to fight back, getting involved in the TS Alliance, an organization dedicated to finding a cure.

Lisa Sanders said, "It's important to us because it raises money for research, and it gives us a chance to meet other families dealing with TSC."

Despite their difficult journey, they still count their blessings.

"We are very blessed," said Lisa.  "She has it, we know about it, so let's deal with it."

They're moving forward with faith every step of the way.

The 3rd annual Step Forward to Cure Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Walk is set for Saturday, April 10th in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

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