Two Sherman Teenagers Battle Rare Terminal Illness - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Two Sherman Teenagers Battle Rare Terminal Illness

Posted:

DENISON, TX -- A Texoma woman says she's taking life day by day as her two kids battle terminal illness. A fundraiser held at the Boys and Girls Club is helping search for a cure.

Sherman resident Carla Halk says she knew from birth that her son was sick. "I found out when he was almost 2 years old that he had a genetic disorder and I was pregnant with my daughter at the moment and when we had her we had the test done and found out she had it too," says Halk.

The diagnosis was a rare disease called MPS. "It stands for mucopolysaccharidosis and what it is is these kids are missing the enzyme that breaks down the sugar molecules in their system, and therefore it builds up in all areas of the body in the organs, muscles, joints," says Halk.

"He has a more severe case of it and I don't have it as bad," says Paige Halk, 16. "I have to help him like take his shirt off or put his shirt on or his socks or help get stuff down from cabinets that he can't reach."

There is no known cure for this disease, so Carla Halk wanted to start an event to raise funds to try to find one. For five years now, she's been holding this Fall Festival.

"I am ecstatic and it melts my heart to see people come out to support a cause, especially people that don't know us," says Carla Halk.

"So far it's pretty nice it's good for the kids," says one attendee.

Halk says she now home schools Paige and cares for Blake, who at 17 has already been through 32 surgeries. "He's not doing too good right now," says Carla Halk.

"He's had it for a long time and it's a struggle. It's heart-touching but he keeps going through and keeps smiling," says grandmother Lynda Papoi.

"It tears you down at first but then you know you gotta be strong and move forward and do what you have to do to figure out how to get by every day," says Carla Halk.

And on Saturday afternoon, hundreds were lending their support to the MPS Society. "Big turnout!" says Blake Halk.

Last year they raised $5,000 and they're hoping to increase on that this time around, Carla Halk said.