Fairfax Station rallies around sick child with mysterious brain disease

FAIRFAX STATION, Va. -- They lined up by the dozens at Silverbrook Elementary School to purchase t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, bracelets and glitter nail polish.

The money goes to help the Glitter Matters foundation, set up to help Ellie Schleyer by funding research to find a cure or treatment for her mysterious, debilitating brain disease.

"She has white matter that's causing her to have seizures, cognitive abilities, and it's slowly eating through the brain cells," explained Dave Schleyer, Ellie's father.

Physically, Ellie is fine now, but the disease causing cognitive decline, though you would never know it, talking to the happy and playful 11-year old who loves her four siblings.

The brain disease hit three years ago. Since then, visits to doctors and hospitals, seven across the country, have been non-stop. Nobody has any answers.

"Every test there is, has been done. No test has been left undone. We are waiting for science to catch up to her," said Ellie's mother Stephanie Schleyer.

Huge medical bills drained their finances.

"We basically lost pretty much everything. We lost our house. We declared bankruptcy," said Mrs. Schleyer.

"It's hard. For us, me as a man, it's significantly hard when you can't provide for your family. But, again, it goes back to this community," said Dave Schleyer.

They moved to the Silverbrook community in Fairfax Station where Dave is operations manager at the New Church and the community has wrapped it's arms around the family. They found a home to rent, and when there were times when they had a bill they couldn't pay, checks have suddenly appeared. It gives the Schleyer's hope and reaffirms their strong faith in God.

"It's a bad thing, it's a good thing. Here's Ellie with this brain disorder, and you have all these people just pouring out love and acts and kindness. And, it's just been amazing," said Dave.


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