A south Alabama child is preparing to undergo surgery for a rare neurological disease.

Tinyla Kitchen was diagnosed with Rasmussen encephalitis at the age of six after she began having seizures. Now 10, she will undergo extensive surgery; doctors plan to remove the entire left side of her brain in hopes of mitigating the symptoms of the disease. 

According to rarediseases.org, Rasmussen encephalitis typically affects only one side of the body because it causes inflammation in one hemisphere of the brain. In addition to seizures, the disease can cause paralysis; developmental, physical and mental disabilities; degeneration of the brain; confusion; disorientation and dementia.

Tinyla Kitchen has already had a portion of her left hemisphere removed to slow down the progression of the disease. Her mom, Sonia, said that surgery left the family with a $14,000 co-pay and ultimately did not work.

Sonia Kitchens is a single mom on top of being disabled. She has asked for prayers and donations to help her daughter receive the much-needed surgery. 

"Everything helps even if it's just $1, and prayers are definitely needed," Sonia Kitchen posted on a GoFundMe account.

The GoFundMe page has a goal of $7,500. The surgery is scheduled for Oct. 20.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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