Community raises over $70,000 for local 6-year-old girl after life-changing diagnosis

In October 2021, Amelia was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease called metachromatic leukodystrophy or MLD.
NORTHRIDGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Amelia and Ella have a special bond. When Ella met Amelia in kindergarten, the fact that she was different never mattered to her. Ella just wanted to help her friend.

"She is really going good with her leg braces which I'm happy," said 6-year-old Ella. "I'm raising money for her so she can buy things, which is hard to buy with her own money."

Ella has held fundraisers to raise money for Amelia and her family, but Ella isn't the only one who wants to help Amelia. In October 2021, Amelia was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease called metachromatic leukodystrophy or MLD.

"Over the course of a year we went from her just simply being on the small side to this diagnosis that has a life expectancy of about 5 to 15 years," said Amelia's father Matthew Price. "So that was devastating."

A GoFundMe was started on behalf of Amelia and in less than a month, it has already raised over $70,000. Amelia's parents said the support from Mayfield school in Pasadena, where the two girls attend, and the community makes all the difference.

"I get to see kids everyday helping her out," said Amelia's mother Kirrily Pierson who is also a P.E. teacher at Mayfield. "I mean our community at Mayfield is just amazing that they're just rallying around her. She has to be the strongest little girl for what she's going through, but having that support around her is just outstanding and amazing."

Ella and Amelia say everybody has differences, but to these two 6-year old best friends, those don't matter.

"I don't think she sees it any different than just being a good friend because Amelia's a good friend to her," said Ella's mother Kathleen Hopper. "So, that's how we look at it, but as a mom, it really is a 'proud mommy' moment."

"Ella and her family have really taken to heart our cause and have really stepped up and asking the community, the school community, the church community to help us out, to raise some money to support Amelia and her journey and it's just amazing to see," said Pierson.

The GoFundMe will help Amelia's family with treatment, travel to see doctors and co-pays for when insurance doesn't cover expenses.

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