NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Summer is a time to be outdoors soaking up the rays.
An 8-year-old Timpson girl would love playing outside, but when she's exposed to sunlight horrible blisters and breathing difficulties occur.
Damija Davis longs to play softball outside, but the fourth grader has been indoors since March. Danquein Horton, Damija's mother, said her daughter became extremely ill following an All Star game.
"She was perfectly fine. She went to sleep and woke up and she had really bad fever blisters all over her face," Horton said. "Her eye was swollen shut and she started having trouble breathing."
Allergies were ruled out. One month later, a team of Houston specialists diagnosed Damija with actinic pruigo. The rare skin disease is caused by an abnormal reaction to sunlight.
"We found out it hits people of Indian background, and we've got lots of Indian in our family," Horton said.
Damija could outgrow the disease. Currently, there's no cure, so the symptoms are treated. Damija spends a lot of time indoors.
"I watch TV, and I play my tablet, and I read books," Damija said.
The child takes numerous daily medications. In addition, Damija must wear special clothing when she does venture outside.
"Like the Nike dry fit clothing, and if she wears shorts, she has to have the long, dry fit socks that come up to her knees," Horton said.
You would think Damija would look forward to cloudy days, but even on overcast days, she is at risk to UV exposure.
Horton's insurance that she gets working as a surgery technician pays for only a fraction of the costs to see up to five doctors in Houston.
"She has Medicaid as a secondary, but none of the doctors that she can see now take Medicaid," Horton said.
A Medicaid specialist won't be available until December. Until then the mother who fought cancer twice and now has a weak heart puts her needs aside. She pays out of pocket to care for Damija.
The mother and child each have their own wish.
"Just pray to God that everything works out for the best," Horton said.
"Go outside and play," Damija said.
Horton's co-workers have set up a "gofundme" page.
Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.