A local third grade student at Sunset Elementary School, MIAngel, has a rare disorder, called McCune-Albright Syndrome (MAS). It’s caused by a genetic mutation that happened during her early fetal development. MAS isn’t inherited. It’s a mutation in a single cell, passed on to other cells, in turn, stimulating an enzyme “to be constantly turned on”. That enzyme, according to the National Institute of Health, leads to overproduction of several different hormones in the body.
MAS can cause precocious (early) puberty, usually in females, due to ovarian cysts that produce excessive estrogen. MAS can influence thyroid function, kidneys, adrenal and other glandular functions. Each of those can cause several different medical problems.
One of the most severe abnormalities caused by MAS is polyostitic fibrous dysplasia. In that disorder, normal bone is replaced with masses of fibroblast cells. These can be in limbs, or, commonly in the skull or, as in MIAngel’s case in the jaw.
According to her web site, “http://prayersformiangel.weebly.com/index.html”, “MIAngel’s was born a beautiful, healthy little girl.” The family’s first clue something was wrong was when she was only two-years old, MIAngel started having a menstrual period. She was diagnosed at an early age with MAS with Precocious Puberty. Then, according to the web site, “Her facial deformity became noticeable by the average person when she was in kindergarten and first grade. When she entered second grade, it had become noticeable by all with her nose and right eye becoming offset.”
MIAngel had her first surgery in Oklahoma City in late fall 2011. The web site said, “The surgery was to shave part of the bone down with hopes of reducing the size of the growth on her face. Unfortunately, after this surgery, the bone tissue in her jaw area began to grow very fast. By the end of her second grade year (May 2012) her nose had become part of the growth and was no longer identifiable. She began to have many nose bleeds. Her right eye had so much pressure on it that the doctors were afraid it might burst. Her family continued to consult with doctors, but they were not able to offer much help.”
While MAS is not treatable by hormones or medications, surgery can improve the patient’s appearance and quality of life (www.patient.co.uk). Just last month , MIAngel was finally referred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She will be traveling to Minnesota on Monday, Sept. 10 with preliminary appointments with three doctors on Tuesday, Sept. 11. As you can imagine, the family will have many costs on this trip and with subsequent trips.
A benefit account has been set up for MIAngel. Donations can be made to: First National Bank, PO Box 637, Altus, OK 73522, or at their location at Main and Broadway in Altus. The family appreciates your prayers and donations for this brave little girl.