August 22, 2019
A family of nine moved away from the sunny Arizona state to go live 3,000 miles away because of a rare type of albinism their twins have.
Ailey and Ryan McNallan are parents to seven children, and up until April 2019, they lived in Arizona. The family chose to move 3,000 miles to Maine because their last two children, twins, Aldridge, and Argon have a rare type of albinism.
In an interview with SWNS TV, Ailey recounted the family’s journey since they discovered that their twin boys have oculocutaneous albinism type 1B.
The mum-of-seven said when the twins were 7-month-old, they noticed that their eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. A trip to the optician got them diagnosed with nystagmus, and a genetic test revealed that they had low pigment melanin.
The former Arizona resident explained that her boys had 25% melanin capacity compared to 100% in other people. She added that they quickly get sunburnt and affected by UV rays.
The condition informed the McNallans’ decision to move to a less sunny state, and Ailey told the network that,
“we want to give them a better quality of life in any way we can.”
The twins’ albinism also affects their skin, hair colour, which makes their mother worry about their future. Ailey said,
“When we found out the twins had albinism, we wanted them to have a good childhood that wasn’t limited,” adding, “I think about the twins and their future a lot, and want to do what’s best for them.”
So far, life for the little boys is going great, and their siblings, Maliah, Addison, Nolan, Emmeline, and Benton, have educated themselves on their brothers’ condition.
When people ask the family about the twins, Ailey said they do not get offended, but see it as an opportunity to create awareness about the condition.
Albinism is a disorder that results from an absence of pigment melanin. It varies in severity and leads to vision problems and light hair. 1 in 70 people carry the gene that causes albinism, and there’s no cure for it.
According to the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation, 18,000 to 20,000 people in the United States have a form of albinism.
The best way to manage the condition is to take care of the eyes and avoid staying in the sun longer than necessary.