Local family struggling with disorder happy to see PANDAS on national news

Keeping Kids Safe

Friday night, ABC News and 20/20 took an in-depth look at the rare and controversial disorder known as PANDAS. 33 WYTV News was the first in the Valley to introduce you to the disorder with the McCloskey family’s story.

Now Rohnda and her 9-year-old daughter, Clara, say national coverage of PANDAS could save someone’s life.

WATCH: 33’s Lindsey Watson talks exclusively with ABC News Correspondent JuJu Chang

The McCloskeys spent years trying to get a diagnosis for Clara, who had suddenly developed tics, small bouts of OCD and separation anxiety — all after battling a minor case of strep throat.

Like so many other families across the country, the road to a PANDAS diagnosis for Clara was long, dark and frustrating.

Rohnda began taking videos, documenting the heartbreaking and unbelievable change in her daughter.

A simple Facebook message helped steer the family in the right direction and Clara has been on the road to recovery ever since.

Now Rohnda and her daughter have made it their mission to raise awareness about the little-known disorder.

“The way we found out about it was by someone else who was on the news just like us so that, to me, is just like one of those ‘aha’, full circle moments in life where you take pain and you turn it into something that’s part of a positive moment,” Rohnda said.

As for Clara, her message is a strong one that she wears on her wrist — a simple bracelet that says “BE BRAVE.”

PANDAS is a very complex disorder and this is just one family’s journey. Many others are the same and some are very different, depending on the child.

The episode of 20/20 about PANDAS will be posted here.

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