DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) – Salem Collins was a typical teenage girl who enjoyed music and gymnastics until a rare disease took over.
“The one word I would sum it up with is ‘fear,’” said her father Jonathan Adams. “As a man, you like to fix things…so you find a problem and find a solution. But for this, for so long there was no solution.”
Doctors discovered Salem had Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, after pain spread throughout her body following an ankle injury. CRPS is considered the most painful disease known today and is labeled the “suicide disease.”
“I’m never not in pain,” said Salem, once a gymnast who is now confined to a wheelchair. “It’s constant. I want to walk. I want to do what I want to do with my friends like I used to.”
The disease has no cure, but the family has found hope in a clinic in Arkansas that’s helped nearly 85% of its patients land in remission.
“There is no cure, but remission is possible, so if it’s possible, we give it a go,” said Salem’s mom Audra.
The family plans to move to the clinic for the next four months for treatment.
Insurance doesn’t cover it, and the cost can be over $100,000. Their community is stepping up with a fundraiser over the weekend, online donations and their strong faith.
Salem will start treatment on Dec. 12.