HEARTBROKEN parents have launched a desperate appeal to raise a staggering £2 million to find a cure for their daughter’s rare motor neurone disease.

Mum Carina Thurgood, 50, is in a race against time to help daughter Maddi, 18, who suffers from life-threatening spastic paraplegia type 15 (SPG15).

The debilitating illness is so rare that Maddi is the only person in the UK known to suffer from the condition.

It affects a person’s limb movements, their ability to breathe, eyesight and brain functions.

Carina, from Toppesfield, is desperately trying to fund research by Sheffield University scientists to find a cure.

She said the illness is a “ticking time-bomb” as they race to find a cure while Maddi’s condition deteriorates every day.

Maddi’s family first noticed there was a problem when she began to limp when she was 14.

After seeing a string of doctors, Maddi was referred to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital where a brain scan revealed she had a progressive condition, but experts were unable to give an exact diagnosis.

Following genetic tests, Maddi was finally told she had SPG15 at the age of 15.

Carina said: “One of the doctors actually said she had never come across anyone with this condition before.

“It was the first for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“We were told: ‘We’re really sorry but there’s no treatment for Maddi because it is so rare.’

“Her condition is progressing more and more to the point where we had to get a wheelchair for Maddi because she was finding it really difficult to walk.”

Maddi underwent a successful operation in America to help tackle the spasticity in her legs in September last year.

Carina said: “In no way did it cure her condition.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to make her life better. We’re just trying to keep her moving.

“We’re targeting the problems that come with the condition because once it happens, you can’t reverse it.

“Essentially, the cells are dying.

“Maddi’s condition is just going to get worse and worse so it’s a really sad situation.

“In a few years, we just don’t know what’s going to happen.

“The scary part is, what’s happened now, we won’t get back.”

“I need to find a way to help my daughter.

“If a million people donate one pound then that would be huge for us.

“We’re having to fight for this for Maddi’s sake and we desperately need help.

“I’m just a mum who is trying to find a cure for her daughter.”

Carina, husband Paul, 63, and their eldest daughter Alex, 24, say they had had no option but to start their own fight to save Maddi’s life.

An online Go Fund Me page was only started on January 12 but has already raised an incredible £400,000 in donations.

The family have also set up a charity called the Maddi Foundation which can be found at themaddifoundation.com.

To donate to the appeal, visit the family’s Go Fund Me page at gofundme.com/f/SavingMaddi.