Local girl battles rare, debilitating disease

NEW JERSEY (WTXF) – A local girl is battling a rare, debilitating disease. Her mom is fighting to find a cure.

Emilia Schalick is a bubbly, fun loving, affectionate 5-year-old girl with so much personality she lights up any room. Spend a few minutes with her and she’ll melt your heart and you’re a fan forever.

Soon after she was born her mother, Meredith Schalick, noticed something wasn’t quite right. In the recovery room right her eyes were sort of wandering a bit and she was having trouble breathing.

“They brought her to my room about a half hour later she had a blue spell. She stopped breathing altogether,” she told FOX 29.

As Emilia got older she missed some of her developmental milestones.

“We had 7 specialists working with us and we couldn’t figure out what it was,” Meredith explained.

They did brain scans, tests and MRIs but everything came back normal. That’s when Kristy researched online and found an article that sort of matched her symptoms 2 and a half years later, Emilia was diagnosed with alternating hemiplegia of childhood or AHC.

“A rare neurological development disorder that’s characterized by recurrent episodes,” CHOP neurologist Dr. Katherine Taub said.

Dr. Katherine Taub is a neurologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and she’s been helping Emilia since the beginning.

“It wasn’t until she was working with her occupational therapist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who witnessed a few episodes of weakness,” her mother said.

Emilia goes to CHOP at Virtua in Voorhees for therapy once a week with longtime therapist Kristy Pucci. Like others with AHC, Emilia has episodes of paralysis once or twice a week.

“When we started working together especially in the pool she would have these periods of just becoming completely almost paralyzed. A limp doll.”

Living with AHC is a challenge. It’s a debilitating disease while the disease is diagnosed before a child is 2, kids don’t grow out of it. Emilia’s mom worries about Emilia’s future while she is used to the episodes they are still scary.

These episodes happen once or twice a day for Emilia but when there are changes in weather or she gets over-stimulated they can increase. The episodes can last for a few minutes or hours but if Emilia can sleep she’s back to normal.

Emilia’s mom, a law professor at Rutgers law school in Camden, is patient, compassionate and determined to raise awareness and find a cure for this debilitating disease.

Despite the fact that Emilia has a potentially devastating and rare disease she triumphs over the limitations of her condition in amazing ways.

If you want to learn more about AHC or support medical research for a cure, please visit http://ahckids.org/.

Jeff Wuchich – Durham 2014

Jeff Wuchich, father of Matthew was interviewed by AHCIM in October 2014

The purpose of AHC International Library is to collect information about AHC and related disorders and make them visible for everyone.

Doctors, researchers and family can share information on this media and together we can help each other get closer to the goal of having an effective treatment for AHC.

AHCIM will continue to interview interested parties that have information on AHC or related disorders to share .

For more information: www.ahcim.com

Contact us at ahc@ahc.is

Mollie Erpenbeck

Mollie Erpenbeck, mother of Austin, was interviewed by AHCIM in July 2014

“Austin´s longest full body episode was 14 days, I thought I would have to take him to the hospital to get a feeding tube”

 

The purpose of AHC International Library is to collect information about AHC and related disorders and make them visible for everyone.

Doctors, researchers and family can share information on this media and together we can help each other get closer to the goal of having an effective treatment for AHC.

AHCIM will continue to interview interested parties that have information on AHC or related disorders to share .

For more information: www.ahcim.com

The Gerber family

A lively interview with the wonderful Gerber family.

The Gerber´s were interviewed by AHCIM in July 2014

“I love Sean the way he is but I want him not to have AHC anymore, I want the doctors to make a potion and then you pour it on them and puffff they don´t have AHC anymore”

The purpose of AHC International Library is to collect information about AHC and related disorders and make them visible for everyone.

Doctors, researchers and family can share information on this media and together we can help each other get closer to the goal of having an effective treatment for AHC.

AHCIM will continue to interview interested parties that have information on AHC or related disorders to share .

For more information: www.ahcim.com

Contact us at ahc@ahc.is

Laufey Ýr Sigurdardottir

Dr Laufey Yr Sigurdardottir was interviewed by AHCIM in July 2014

“You have to have faith in yourself (as a neurologist) and you have to listen to the parents”

The purpose of AHC International Library is to collect information about AHC and related disorders and make them visible for everyone.

Doctors, researchers and family can share information on this media and together we can help each other get closer to the goal of having an effective treatment for AHC.

Sunna and Ýr
Sunna and Ýr

AHCIM will continue to interview interested parties that have information on AHC or related disorders to share .

Landis Pino

Landis Pino, Mother of Madison and Marley, was interviewed by the AHCIM in October 2014

Landis has TWO children affected by AHC which is extremely rare.
When the interview was done she did not have the confirmation that her youngest daughter was affected.