A couple's visual plea on behalf of their very sick 4-year-old daughter has brought out countless supporters who want to help.
Last July, little Eliza O'Neill from South Carolina was diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, which causes the body and brain to deteriorate. By the time she's 5, Eliza will lose the ability to speak. Three years from now, she won't be able to feed herself and will develop seizures. Most children with the illness won't live to see their 20s.
There is hope for Eliza. A gene therapy trial is scheduled for late 2014 at the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH that will likely result in a cure for Sanfilippo syndrome. The hospital, however, lacks the necessary funds ($2.5 million) to complete the trial, so her parents, Cara and Glenn O'Neill, are doing everything they can to help raise the money so their daughter can have a chance at living a full life.
Cara and Glenn enlisted the help of filmmaker Benjamin Von Wong to create a captivating video detailing Eliza's condition, as well as her sweet personality and the love they have for her. In just one week from the video's debut online, the family has raised $400,000 through their GoFundMe page as well as local fundraisers.
They have until June to find the rest of the money, and they refuse to give up on their daughter and other children afflicted with this debilitating illness.
If you want to help Eliza, you can make a donation and learn more about Sanfilippo syndrome at the O'Neill's GoFundMe.