Liberty City girl's rare disease brings family, community closer together - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

LIBERTY CITY (KLTV)

Liberty City girl's rare disease brings family, community closer together

She's an East Texas girl whose battle with a rare disease has brought an entire school and community together. Six year old Tristan Lindsey of Liberty City was diagnosed with Niemann Pick Type C in June of last year.

Tonight, KLTV 7 LaKecia Shockley shows you Tristan's story and how her fight to live has sparked a rash of giving from some of the smallest hearts.

Every student in Mrs. Griffth's first grade class at Sabine Elementary is special, but Tristan Lindsey sticks out the most.

"Okay, Tristan, pick another one...no peeking!"

Trsitan started having countless seizures at school, and when her mom Tracy found out why, she was in shock.

"When I looked it up on the Internet, "I said on my gosh, that is my kid, every single last thing about it is my kid," said Tracy Lindsey.

Tristan was diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C, a fatal and rare disease with only 300 cases diagnosed in the U.S.  

"We've been told that we'll be lucky if we have her till 10...in some cases, they can live to 15 and 20," said Tracy, crying, "...but because her liver and spleen enlarged at such a young age we probably won't have her very much longer. It's brought our family closer, a lot closer. We don't take the little moments for granted like we did before."

In an effort to find a cure for the disease, the federal government is doing a study on Tristan in the spring, in Maryland. To fund Tristian's trip sabine elementary students are raising money.

"Every time I have spare change like from Coke...I drop it in there because my Dad says I can," said Travis Fitch, Tristan's classmate.

"They would give up their lunch money if they could, so it's a really special time for us," said Principal Terri Bass.

"The reason I'm give her money is because she's real sick and stuff and I really care for her," said Travis. "I hope she gets better soon because I love her."

"It's very overwhelming to know that a community loves you and cares for you and doesn't even know you really," said Tracy.

Thoughtful hearts who are giving so much to an unselfish little girl.

In just two weeks, Sabine Elementary, along with Liberty City, raised nearly $1,800 for Tristan.

After Tristan gets back from Maryland in May, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is sending Tristan and her family to Walt Disney World.

LaKecia Shockley, reporting. lshockley@kltv.com

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