Clark County, MO Teen with Rare Brain Disease Now Helping Others
A Clark County, Missouri teen is facing a challenge that should never happen. She's facing a one-in-a-million brain disease that has threatened her own life, yet she's now using it to try and help others.
Thank you to Caitlin Roberts for reaching out and sharing this young girl's story with me. Shelbi Slater is a 17 year old Clark County Senior. She is a senior Clark County cheerleader that's also active in FFA and many school organizations who was struck down with a mystery illness on Christmas night of 2022.
Doctors learned that Shelbi had suffered a stroke and she was rushed to Children's Hospital in St. Louis. They eventually diagnosed Shelbi with Moyamoya. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines it as:
Moyamoya disease is a rare, progressive cerebrovascular disorder caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain in an area called the basal ganglia. Moyamoya means “puff of smoke” in Japanese and is used to describe the tangled appearance of tiny vessels compensating for the blockage.
Shelbi Slater has already had one brain surgery and is scheduled to have another in March. According to Caitlin's email, there is no guarantee of success. It's just an effort to give Shelbi a fighting chance to get her life back. Recovery can take years even if it's successful.
This brave girl is now using her challenge as a way to help others. Caitlin shared these details:
She has volunteered to help the doctors in any way possible to help find a cure. They have taken photos of her brain, recorded her surgery, mapped her blood vessels, sent her blood work off to genealogy specialists and much more. The doctors are hoping to find the unknown chromosome that has caused her to get this rare disease. Shelbi has told the doctors no matter what it is, she will do it, if it means finding a cure so another child doesn’t have to go through this.
The best news so far is after therapy and treatments, Shelbi now has her mobility back. In addition, the Clark County community is rallying to support Shelbi Slater and her family. They have a benefit coming up in Wayland, Missouri on Sunday, March 5.