Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Despite their daughter's passing, a Chippewa Falls family is still marching on in their fight against neurofibromatosis (NF).
Myshell Reith was just 17-years-old when she died almost two years ago from NF, a neurological genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerves anywhere in the body. While it is one of the most common genetic disorders, not a lot of people, including doctors, know much about it.
“The worst part was the constant fight,” says Myshell's mom Crystal Reith. “You constantly had to fight to prove she's going through what she's going through. You had to fight to get her treatment, we had to fight to get her to Children's in Milwaukee because of insurance.”
Fighting is something the Reiths do well, not with each other, but for each other.
“When she first found out she had brain tumors and we found out there was no operation that would fix it, she came to us and said, mom and dad, if there's no help for me, we gotta do something to help others," said Reith. “Myshell had NF1. It caused her to have an optic nerve tumor. She had approximately five tumors on her brain, several lesions. Se also had two on her brain stem, she also suffered from severe pain.”
Despite the pain, it was rare Myshell held back.
“She always described it as electrical shocks throughout her body,” Reith said. “But, she ran track and cross country.”
Unfortunately with many diseases, it doesn't matter how strong you are.
“Everybody gets affected by it differently,” Reith said. “Unfortunately, with Myshell it took her life, which is the worst that it could do.”
After Myshell passed, Crystal, and her dad Kurt, wanted something more, so NF First was born.
“If the time ever came that she couldn't fight we'd fight for her,” Reith said. “In 2016, Myshell came to us as a family and said, 'I'm really bothered by the fact that the money that we raise goes to help somebody's paycheck.' When she passed we decided we were going to keep her promise, and NF First was formed, Neurofibromatosis First. Our sole promise is nobody gets paid.”
Saturday in Irvine Park the Reith's will be 'Kickin' it in the Park'.
“Myshell loved Irvine Park. She ran the trails around here, she loved the animals around here,” said Reith. “Her graduation pictures were taken behind us, five hours before she collapsed on me for the last time - August 24, 2016.”
The Reith's took on this battle so girls like Myshell can make it to their 18th birthday.
“Seventeen years, seven months and seven days when she passed, and that's important because Myshell wanted to go to a casino when she turned 18, and Myshell was always about numbers,” said Reith. “So, she had her one triple sevens on her way out.”
The three sevens is a bit of a coincidence, as is the fact that there's another big event happening Saturday. Myshell was a big fan of the royals. In fact, Crystal said that during the last royal wedding Myshell was in a coma and wasn't going to be able to watch it, something she looked forward to for months, but just before it came on she came out of the coma and got to watch.
Saturday is the Kickin' it in the Park for NF. All money raised stays local to help others in the area battle NF. For more info on signing up, info on Myshell, info NF, or info on NF First, click here.