A dying mum who lost half her teeth because of a rare killer disease wants the chance to smile again so she can enjoy her last months with her sons.
Kelly Murray, 33, has battled langerhan cell histiocytosis for 12 years – a condition that affects just one in a million adults and has caused the bones in her mouth to disintegrate.
“I don’t like smiling now” said Kelly, of New Whittington. “I used to be so confident, but now I never want to pose for pictures with my sons.”
After suffering two collapsed lungs aged 20, she was diagnosed and went on to be the only person with the illness ever recorded to carry her own children – Bradley, 10 and Louis, 9.
But since the start of 2013 Kelly has declined – losing nearly four stone – and doctors have given her just 12 months to live.
“I find it hard to accept that I won’t see my sons grow up” she said. “I want to see them grow into young men. I don’t want to miss their first day of secondary school.
“I have always tried to keep on going, but you know your own body, and I know. I can barely lift things. Sometimes the pain is so bad and I don’t sleep, and if I do I wake up gasping. I’m more tired and I feel weaker.”
Now her friends Karla Wilkinson and Sherralyn Newton want to raise money so Kelly can have veneer dentures fitted and be able to smile again.
“It would give me my confidence back, and I could pose for pictures the boys could look at for years to come, even after I’m gone” Kelly said.
Karla added: “We’re also hoping to get her and the boys a private photo shoot and maybe a holiday so the boys have memories to last along with Kelly’s smile.”
To find out more about helping the cause and getting involved, call Karla on 07944245025 or call the Derbyshire Times on 01246 504 614
Langerhan Cell Hisiocytosis, or LCH, is an extremely rare cancer-like disease that attacks the organs.
It causes pain in the bones, spontaneous fractures, loss of teeth and extreme fatigue as well as weakness, seizures and collapsed lungs. Kelly has to use an oxygen tank because the disease has cut her lung function by 60 per cent.
It can also affect the pituitary gland – as in Kelly’s case – affecting memory.
It may affect one organ or spread, like in Kelly’s case.