SHE is full of fun, laughter and charm.
But behind Chloe Martin’s adorable smile, she is one of only two children in Scotland battling a rare condition, known as Septo-optic dysplasia.
The six-year-old, who is a primary one pupil at Oaklands School, was born with an undeveloped optic nerve – which left her with permanent hormone deficiencies and almost blind.
But in 2013, her parents, Kayleigh and Dean Ballantyne, saved enough money to take her to Thailand for vital stem cell treatment, which has improved Chloe’s eyesight.
Now, the family is hoping to take Chloe back for a second course, but first need to raise more than £16,000.
Kayleigh, 26, said: “Chloe can make out shapes and shadows now so the treatment has definitely worked.
“She’s shown us clear signs that she can see things, for example she will often hold her tablet up to her face when watching Peppa Pig, and she reaches out for things.
“When she was younger we didn’t really know the affect it was having on her, but now she is a bit older she communicates more.
“It is our dream for her to receive more treatment. We hope it would improve her quality of life even more.”
Speaking of the moment she first discovered there was something wrong with her daughter, Kayleigh, who lives in Stenhouse, said: “We found out something was wrong when I had my 18-week pregnancy scan, but the doctors didn’t know how badly it was going to affect her.
“After she was born, she spent seven weeks in the neonatal unit before we were allowed to bring her home.
“As her condition is so rare, it wasn’t only a learning process for us, but for the doctors and nurses too.
“We can live with the fact she is always going to need medication to help her hormones, but we want to give her back anything we can.”
Chloe is able to walk assisted and her mum is confident she will continue to improve.
After she received stem cell treatment in 2013 at the Better Being Hospital in Thailand, she underwent four weeks of rehab and received a series of other treatments including physiotherapy.
Septo-optic Dysplasia is the name given to the condition where a child is diagnosed two or more of: optic nerve hypoplasia, midline brain abnormalities and pituitary gland abnormalities. The condition is so rare it only affects around one in every 10,000.
This Saturday, a Football Marathon has been arranged in a bid to raise more money for Chloe to have treatment in Thailand. It will take place at the World of Football by the Corn Exchange at 4.15pm.
Kayleigh added: “Dean would like to thank everyone who will be taking part in the Chloe’s Chance Football Marathon. Everyone is welcome to come along to show their support on the day.”
More information about Chloe’s fundraising events can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ChloesChance.