Angelman Syndrome Foundation Walk Extra Special for Danville Family
Danville, VA - Saturday, 28 cities across the county including Danville took part in a walk to raise awareness for Angelman Syndrome.
Angelman Syndrome is a rare neuro-genetic disorder that affects about 1 in 15,000 births.
A local family, whose 5-year-old daughter has the condition, has to deal with the condition daily.
When five-year-old Kendal Daniel was born, her mother immediately noticed that something wasn't quite right.
"She wasn't eating very well, and then we starting noticing delays like she wasn't crawling, wasn't babbling, and took a little extra time to start sitting up," explained Kendal's mother Heather Daniel.
Kendal's parents took her to not just one doctor, but several. All of the doctors were puzzled by her behavior.
"I started looking into some of the things I saw and that's when I found Angelman's on the internet," said Heather Daniel.
Kendal was finally diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome the age of two.
Doctors say this neuro-genetic disorder is caused by a disruption of the 15th chromosome.
Symptoms of Angelman Syndrome include excessive smiling, slow development, jerky movements, and seizures.
"She's a delightful sweet, loving, wonderful child, but we often spend a lot stress worrying about her having the seizures. We have a video monitor, we're always constantly feel like we're sleeping with one eye open," said Daniel.
Kendal's mom says she's beaten the odds by being able to walk. She struggles with her speech, though.
"She's so very social, but at the same time, she can't talk," Kendal's mother Heather said.
The family is part of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation which works to connect families that are affected by the disorder.
The Daniel family says the walk is kind of like a big family reunion.
"A couple of families I may see a couple times a year, but very rarely are we in one spot at one time," Heather Daniel said.
Danville's Angleman Syndrome Foundation Walk had about a dozen families who took part from Virginia and North Carolina.
The walk raised $22,000, all of which goes toward researching the disease.