Family hopes fundraiser will help save girl from rare disease - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Family hopes online fundraiser will help save daughter from rare disease

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COLUMBIA (WACH/WCIV) – A Columbia family fighting for their daughter's life is sharing her story to the world in hopes of raising the money needed to help save her life.

In an Internet video, 4-year-old Eliza O'Neill's fight for life is documented in an effort to raise money that could cure the young girl of the disease.

Eliza was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome last year; the disease attacks a person's metabolism and prevents their body from breaking down sugar molecules. Sanfilippo Syndrome causes severe neurological symptoms, including intellectual disability.

Most people with Sanfilippo syndrome live into their teenage years. Some patients live longer, while others with severe forms die at an earlier age.

Doctors say symptoms appear most severe with type A Sanfilippo syndrome, the one young Eliza is trying to beat.

Until now the disease has been incurable. However, a new treatment has the O'Neills fighting to raise more than $2 million to have little Eliza enter a gene therapy trial that starts later this year.

If successful, the therapy could save Eliza and stop Sanfilippo Syndrome from destroying her body.

The video of Eliza's story has grabbed the attention of more than 500 people on gofundme.com and has raised more than $45,000. Eliza's parents hope to raise $1 million through the GoFundMe fundraiser in time to save their daughter. 

All donations will go to support the gene therapy trial at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

However, the total amount the O'Neills need over the next several months is $2.5 Million.

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