Atlético Madrid midfielder’s comeback from brain cancer and mother’s paralysis
The mother of a footballer has spoken of how her “soul and energy” was drained after her baby girl was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder.
Alyssa Vlijm has told of being so distraught over the news of her daughter Emma’s condition, that she wanted to commit suicide.
But the mother of one overcame her despair to get up and fight for her daughter.
Alyssa, 23, said: “I just felt like I was dying. Life was just falling apart.”
Emma’s condition means she cannot communicate and is unable to move.
Alyssa said: “I was on my knees, begging for her to get on a plane. I’m a really strong person. I don’t give up.”
Emma’s battle with a rare neurological disorder saw her diagnosed with a rare type of mitochondrial disease.
The type of condition is called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
‘A life worth living’
Emma is the second member of the Vlijm family to have been diagnosed with the condition.
Alyssa, 23, said: “We didn’t realise that she would fall ill when we first got pregnant.
“It just didn’t seem fair that our child should suffer.
“I’m devastated every day of my life. Emma had no life and a life worth living just wasn’t there.”
Alyssa was diagnosed with brain tumours when she was 19.
When she had her second child, she was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition called neuropathy.
The cause of the condition is unknown, but it is known as an autosomal recessive condition because it is passed from parents to their offsprings.
The conditions can have a significant impact on a young person’s life and ability to move.
Alyssa said: “I’m starting to wonder whether I’m the daughter I didn’t deserve.
“I can’t stop praying. But I’m just praying my daughter can walk and live the life she deserves.”
SMA is characterised by progressive inability to control the muscles of the body.
The condition, which affects approximately 3000 in the UK and is