Local/State

Fundraiser held for Apex girl who died from rare disease

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A fundraiser was Wednesday for an Apex girl who lost her battle with a rare disease that doctors first thought was a weight problem.

Kiera Burkhardt had just finished the second grade when she passed away unexpectedly.

Her parents said in just six months, the 8 year old gained 60 pounds. They said doctors first she thought had was weight problem, but months later discovered she had a disease called Cushing's syndrome -- when a tumor grows on a gland and produces excessive hormones.

Her family said Kiera died from cardiac arrest earlier this month because of complications with the disease.

"Be your child's advocate 100 percent no matter what any doctor tells you," Kiera's mother Kelly Burkhardt said. "That instinct that something is wrong is always right. So definitely follow that, and in the aspect of Cushings, not a lot of pediatricians are aware of it. Hopefully, that's something that will be changing."

The fundraiser helped Kiera's family pay for medical bills.

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