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Callie Escovedo had just had brain surgery, but she still managed to crack a bit of a smile. 

She had suffered a major stroke, which had been preceded by a smaller undetected stroke, and was recovering from the first of what will be two brain surgeries when her picture was taken. 

Her face drooped slightly on her left side, but you could still see her smile. 

Callie Escovedo is just 12 years old. She's in the fight for her life and she's looking at spending the next year of her life in Texas Children's Hospital — away from her friends in family in Kerrville. 

"It was just a shocker," said Regina Sullivan, Callie's grandmother. "She's outgoing. She's happy." 

Callie Escovedo has always battled a severe case of asthma, but her family had no idea that she was going to face an even more serious health condition. In fact, Callie Escovedo suffers from a rare brain condition called Moyamoya disease, which causes strokes in children. 

Sometime around July 20, Callie Escovedo suffered a massive stroke. 

The disease is also somewhat of a mystery and here's how the Mayo Clinic describes it: The exact cause of moyamoya disease is unknown. Moyamoya disease is most commonly seen in Japan, Korea and China, but it also occurs in other parts of the world. Researchers believe the greater prevalence in these Asian countries strongly suggests a genetic factor in some populations.

Sometime later this month, according to Sullivan, Callie Escovedo will have a second surgery — this time on the right side of the brain. The first surgery ended up leaving a six-inch scar and has left her currently without the use of her left hand. 

For the Escovedo family this has presented a monumental challenge. Callie is one of four children. Her parents are divorced, but it's become an all-out effort to help care for her. 

However, it's been her family that has been instrumental in identifying her early symptoms. An older sister, Jocelyn, was the one that alerted her parents that Callie had become unresponsive. 

From there, it was a trip to Peterson Regional Medical Center's emergency department on July 20, followed by a helicopter flight to San Antonio for treatment. However, there was no pediatric neural surgeon and the decision was made to fly Callie to Houston for treatment. 

Thomas Escovedo, Callie's father, spends the weekdays in Houston to care for her, while her mother takes the weekend shift. Callie's stepmother is helping care for the other three children in the family. 

Callie Escovedo's mother, Kayla, works here in Kerrville, while her former husband works in Boerne. Thomas Escovedo has been able to take time off from work to care for his daughter, but it has also been unpaid, the family said. 

Thomas Escovedo turned to his former mother-in-law, Sullivan, to help start a fundraising account to provide care for Callie. 

"I have a good relationship with my ex-son-in-law," Sullivan said. "He said that he knows I will do the right thing." 

The first thing Sullivan did was to start a benefit account at Centennial Bank in Kerrville. Those interested in donating can give to the Regina L. Sullivan Benefit Account through the drive-through window or by check through the main to the bank. Sullivan said the bank can also answer questions about how to give to the fund. 

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