Ipswich sixth-graders team up to help classmate with rare disorder

IPSWICH, Mass. (WHDH) — Sixth-graders at Ipswich are working together to support their classmate, who has a rare and potentially deadly disorder.

Talia Duff, 12, has CMT4J, a neurological disease similar to ALS. Her parents said Talia is one of only 22 known cases worldwide. Talia uses a wheelchair and has to undergo therapy to regulate her breathing. Experts believe there is a cure but lack the funding for it.

“We are closing in on what we think will be a cure and will help other families and hopefully rare diseases build off of that momentum,” said John Duff, Talia’s father.

Talia’s goal is $1 million by the end of the year. She has raised around $500,000 and her classmates and teachers are working together to raise the rest. Students made mason jars containing cookie mixes to sell at their annual holiday concert on Wednesday, where they were also collecting donations. To reach past Ipswich, the sixth grade and their teachers made a video that they hope will go viral and get an “angel donor” to help Talia.

To help Talia reach her goal, visit CureCMT4J.org.

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