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These Siblings Have A Rare Disease That Will Prevent Them From Achieving Deep Sleep

Lachlan and Hayley Webb — a brother and sister from based in Queensland, Australia — carry the gene for a rare hereditary disease called Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI).

Insomnia, or the state of being unable to sleep, is harmful. When you can’t sleep, you don’t get rest. Your body will not be able to recover from the stress you experience.

Lachlan and Hayley Webb — a brother and sister based in Queensland, Australia — may look like they don’t have health issues. However, they both carry the gene for a rare hereditary disease called Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI). They call it their “genetic time bomb.”

Lachlan and Hayley Webb periodically undergo sleep tests.

Lachlan and Hayley Webb periodically undergo sleep tests.

According to the U.S. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, FFI is an inherited disease that affects the brain and other parts of the nervous system. Scientists have actually figured out what sort of gene mutation causes this condition. Jargon-heavy explanations aside, FFI is basically insomnia that just gets worse and worse over time.

The Daily Mail explained, “FFI causes abnormal clumps of protein that damages nerve cells and eventually causing sponge-like holes in the thalamus — the part of the brain that regulates sleep.”

Lachlan and Hayley Webb's mom died from FFI at 61.

Lachlan and Hayley Webb's mom died from FFI at 61.

FFI’s symptoms include elevated blood pressure, episodes of hyperventilation, excessive tearing, sexual and/or urinary tract dysfunction, change in basal body temperature, decreased ability to gaze upwards, jerky eye movements, double vision, and dysarthria (difficulty in speech).

FFI, which usually manifests when a person is in his or her 40s or 50s, affects less than 10 million people worldwide. Insomnia is just the beginning of the medical nightmare. Unfortunately, there is no known treatment or cure for FFI yet.

The siblings remain optimistic.

The siblings remain optimistic.

Lachlan, 28, and Hayley, 30, carry the FFI gene. Their grandmother, mother, aunt, and uncle all suffered from FFI. Their grandmother’s death was what led them to get tested for the disorder.

Lachlan and Hayley’s mother died from FFI at 61, their aunt at 42, and their uncle at 20. Their uncle’s case was most shocking, as the disease manifested itself way earlier.

The Webbs have helped educate people about their rare disorder.

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The siblings hope that their FFI symptoms won’t kick in yet. In fact, Hayley, who works as a reporter for Australia’s Nine News, said, “It could happen tomorrow but until we’re in that danger zone we probably have a good 10 years up our sleeve and I am praying that there is a cure between now and then.”

She added, “I don’t want to sit here while the sands through the hour glass pass waiting for it to be triggered. I want information, I want answers, and I want a bloody cure.”

Inspiring

Japan Plans to Make the 2020 Olympic Medals Out of Discarded Smartphones

Japan plans to recycle discarded appliances to make medals for the 2020 Olympics.

Who would have guessed that the outdated and broken electronics we discard might one day find themselves to be the coveted prize at the Olympics?

Back in 2014, Japan recovered up to 143 kg of gold, 1,566 kg of silver, and 1,112 tons of copper (which is an essential component in making bronze). According to Nikkei Asian Review, Japan was able to collect these from discarded electronics. And based on London's 2012 Olympics, the only materials needed to make the medals are 9.6 kg of gold, 1,210 kg of silver, and 700kg of copper.

Unlike other cities hosting the games that ask mines for donations for these materials, Japan chose to accumulate the materials through recycling....

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Colorado Mom Dies After Saving 2-Year-Old Son From Drowning

She sacrificed her life for the sake of her son.

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A mother-of-two from Lakewood, Colorado sacrificed her life to save her son from drowning Tuesday afternoon. The 35-year-old mom and lawyer held her child above water after a boat accident in Lake Powell until a relative came to their rescue.

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Chelsey Russell was on a family holiday trip aboard a houseboat that had been moving at 8mph towards the shore when she suddenly heard a scream and a splash. Her two-year-old boy fell overboard. Without thinking twice, she plunged into the lake, reached for her kid, and held him above water....

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A Brave Girl Died Protecting Her Younger Sister During the Recent Earthquake in Italy

In the ultimate act of sacrifice, an 8-year-old girl shields her younger sister from debris when a massive earthquake rocked Italy.

A devastating magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit central Italy last August 24 at exactly 10:33am, with up to 247 reported deaths confirmed in its wake. One of these deaths was that of a young 8-year-old girl named Giulia Renaldo whose sacrifice saved the life of her younger sister, Giorgia.

Giorgia, 4, is rescued thanks to the sacrifice of her sister, Giulia.

Giorgia, 4, is rescued thanks to the sacrifice of her sister, Giulia.

In a dramatic moment, 4-year-old Giorgia was pulled from the rubble of her home by rescue workers. Giulia had selflessly thrown herself atop her younger sister as debris fell all around them....

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