Sandhoff Disease & A Spirit That Lives On

Embree Ray Alexander was born June 11, 2017 and was healthy and happy for the first part of her life. Around seven months of age, it started to become clear that something was wrong. An MRI of the brain suggested a type of leukodystrophy, initially thought to be Tay Sachs disease. At eleven months of age, she was diagnosed with Sandhoff disease, an autosomal recessive condition that presents the same as Tay Sachs but is more rare.

Embree’s parents, Caitrin and Kyle, were told that Embree’s life expectancy would be about two, possibly three years. Her disease progressed quickly, and they lost their daughter at just 15 months of age. Caitrin and Kyle love remembering Embree and are passionate about raising awareness for Sandhoff and other allied diseases. Since we recorded this interview, Caitrin has become pregnant through PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) and IVF, with support from Baby Quest, and is expecting a baby who has already tested negative for Sandhoff disease in July 2020.

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