Jamaican Mom Struggles With Son’s Rare Disease

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Shanice Rowe, a mother in Jamaica, was never expecting her baby boy to fall victim to an almost unheard of disease. Now she’s struggling financially to keep her boy alive.

The disease is called Walker-Warburg Syndrome, an inherited disorder that targets the development of muscles, brain, and eyes. It’s the most intense of a severe string of genetic conditions known as congenital muscular dystrophies, which cause muscle weakness at a very young age. To learn more about this rare disease, click here.

Lashaun was diagnosed when he was born and the doctors told Shanice that he did not have a lot of time to live. He was born very fragile and has had four surgeries since. With this disease, it’s rare for a child to live past six months, and even when they do, their life expectancy is 3 years.

Devastated, Shanice started already making the preparations to bury her son.

But Lashaun is still alive, which has filled Shanice with a new sense of hope. Because his heart still beats, she continues to search for a way to treat his disease. She dreams that her baby will grow up to become a doctor in the island of Jamaica.

Shanice, however, is finding it increasingly difficult to pay for the growing medical bills and treatment necessary to keep her boy alive. She’s used up her entire life savings, and even taken up another job cleaning houses. It’s challenging to work both jobs without leaving Lashaun for too long.

Shanice has thus taken to the public in order to raise money for her challenges. The MRI alone will cost $55,000. In addition, she needs to purchase a specific piece of gear that will aid Lashaun with his muscle growth.

“I also need a EMS (electronic muscle stimulator), which costs $500,000, but I heard that I can get a small one for $10,000. Even if I get that one for him, I would be grateful,” shanice said in an interview with The Star.


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