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Charlea Armstead- Dementia At 12

November 6, 2014

She dreams of nothing but being a ballerina, and who would deny brave schoolgirl Charlea Armstead that pleasure?

Because despite her youthful enthusiasm for singing and dancing, the 12-year-old suffers from dementia.

Although she keeps on smiling, Charlea is gradually losing her memory and motor function due to the extremely rare and incurable brain condition Niemann-Pick Type C.

She was diagnosed with the genetic degenerative disorder when she was just two months old.           

It leads to a build up of toxins in the spleen and liver.


People with Niemann-Pick Type C rarely live into their teens.

Her mum Danielle Craig, from Oldham, is now trying to raise awareness of the disease which affects only 82 people in the UK and around 500 worldwide.

She told the Daily Mail: “We don’t know when this cruel disease will take Charlea.

“We were told it could be two years or ten. Charlea is 12 and she’s still fighting.

“She has big dreams for a wonderful life. I just hope a cure is found soon so all her wishes come true.”

Battling Charlea has been obsessed with dancing from a young age, but her favourite style is ballet.

Aged six, she joined professional dancers at Manchester Opera House in a rehearsal for Swan Lake in a magical day out organised by the Make A Wish foundation.

Danielle said at the time: “She loves anything to do with singing and dancing. It really was a dream come true for her. I took a lot of pictures and she can’t keep her eyes off them.”

Charlea was given a special pair of ballet wings and a wand during the rehearsal.

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