Glimmer of Hope for Vilonia Toddler with Rare Disorder

VILONIA, Ark. - She's just two years old, but little Makenna Loyd is already beating the odds.

"The prognosis is not good. Most kids don't live past their first birthday," said Makenna's mother, Hannah.  

Hannah says her pregnancy was normal, but doctors knew something was wrong the day Makenna was born.

"By the looks of her arms and legs, she had some kind of dwarfism, but they really didn't know what to tell us," Hannah said.

For six months, doctors were confused. Finally, a test confirmed Makenna suffers from a genetic disorder called RCDP.

"[There are] 54 cases worldwide living, and there's been about 100 known cases," Hannah said.

Doctors said they could offer no help.  

"There's no treatment," Hannah said.  "There's no hope of any medicine for her."  

The parents could only watch as their daughter suffered from pain and struggled to breath.

They found some comfort in a small support group of RCDP families that meets every year in Alabama.

Through those connections, they learned of a possible breakthrough.

"We received an email one morning that said there was a potential drug trial," Hannah said.

Researchers working to treat Alzheimer's discovered drugs that could improve the respiratory function of children suffering from RCDP, increasing their life expectancy.

The Loyd's are volunteering Makenna to be part of a clinical trial.

Steps remain before that can take place, but the Loyds say they are ready to participate.

"We're willing to do that, because we don't have any other medication or any other treatment right now."

It's a glimmer of hope for a life so young, threatened by a disease so rare.


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