Family eyes $1M goal to fund life-saving clinical trial for daug - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family eyes $1M goal to fund life-saving clinical trial for daughter

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The Columbia community came out Saturday to support a little girl with a big cause.

Four-year-old Eliza O'Neill was born with Sanfilippo Syndrome-Type A, a rare terminal genetic disease.

A friend of the family organized a garage sale to raise money for a clinical trial that could find a cure for Eliza and others with Sanfilippo.

Those diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome are missing an essential enzyme for normal cellular function. Over time, a toxic material called heparan sulfate builds up in their brain and body leading to severe disability and death before they even reach their teens.

"This just epitomizes what we've been seeing for many months," said Dr. Cara O'Neill, Eliza's mom. "The Columbia community and South Carolina have just been a huge support to us which just really strengthens our resolve as we push forward to this goal to get a chance for Eliza."

With the help of a video that went viral, the O'Neill family has raised over $700,000 since October.

The family still needs to raise $300,000 to support a Gene Therapy trial at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

"[We need] to bring this trial to fruition for not only for Eliza but for so many other kids affected with Sanfilippo Syndrome," O'Neill said.

For more information on how to help, visit gofundme.com/ElizaONeill.

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