Community rallies behind Doddridge Co. girl with rare disease


WILSONBURG, W.Va. – A Doddridge County girl is battling a rare terminal disease and her family is asking for the public’s help to fund her treatment.

Ten-year-old Maddie Richards was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome in 2017, a disease that effects just one in 70,000 children. Sanfilippo Syndrome causes the body to store sugars in the brain which it can’t get rid of, causing fatal brain damage.

The community is coming together Saturday to raise money for a $100,000 experimental clinical trial that could pave the way for Maddie to live a happier and healthier life.

“Everyone has rallied around and is ready to have this event, and there is so much going on and it’s going to be a fun event,” Brittney Richards, Maddie’s mother said. “This isn’t one of those things where it’s all sad, and I don’t want someone to come and feel sorry for us, I just want you to come have fun and if you feel like helping, that’s fantastic. We will definitely appreciate it more than we would ever express to anyone.”

The fundraiser for Maddie begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at RD Wilson Sons & Co. on 350 Wilsonburg Road.

There will be barbecue, cotton candy and shaved ice, as well as a cornhole tournament and silent auction.

All proceeds will go toward Maddie Richards and her fight against the disease.

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