12-year-old Allen Park resident beating odds of rare brain disease

Posted at 5:47 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 23:36:56-05

For Allen Park resident Flora Armstrong, the day begins and ends the same way -- reading to her son.

Mathew is now twelve, but at 3 years old, his world turned upside down. In 2007, Matthew fell down, hit his head and went unconscious.

Later, doctors would give her the devastating news that Matthew had a terminal, incurable brain disease.

It's called Vanishing White Matter disease, an illness so rare, Matthew is only one of 172 people currently living with it across the world.

With most children succumbing to the disease, doctors began to prepare Armstrong for the worst -- giving her son only 6 months to live.

But Matthew persisted.
"Doctors just call him a miracle...that they don't know how he’s still alive here with us, how he fights everyday for his life. He wants to be here," said Armstrong.

But the fight hasn't come without a challenge, as hospital bills pile up and the need for more advanced care grows more severe.

"Our biggest challenge right now is to transport him. We want to keep him safe."

Without a wheelchair accessible van, his caretakers are forced to lift Matthew by hand, each time -- putting his fragile bones at risk.

Strapped for the cash needed to get a proper vehicle, Flora is now crowd-funding for the money to make that happen -- all while she continues to raise money to bring attention to the disease itself.

Armstrong has a GoFundMe page where she is accepting donations.