Condition of Toddler Allergic to Water Worsens, Mom Says

A Minnesota mother says her 21-month-old daughter's rare serious allergy to water is only getting worse.

In October 2017, Ivy Angerman of Hastings, Minnesota was diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria. According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, it is a condition where children develop hives after contact with water, no matter how hot or cold it is. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but scientists think it could be caused by an interaction between water and a skin substance that creates a toxic material or a substance in water that causes an immune response. Patients often have no family history of the condition.

"It's something we still can't wrap our heads around," Ivy's mother, Brittany Angerman, told PEOPLE in February. "It's just heartbreaking."

Even Ivy's own sweat and tears cause a reaction. Winter in snow-covered Minnesota is difficult because snow can even cause an outbreak. Angerman said her daughter's reactions can last between 15 minutes and an hour. The only treatment is an antihistamine to lower reaction time.

Angerman spoke to PEOPLE again this week, telling the magazine that Ivy told her that the hives are feeling "hotter" than before.

"She used to love bath time and wanted to play in the snow," Angerman said. "But now she hides and doesn't want to go into the bathroom or outside."

Angerman is now worried that Ivy could become allergic internally in the future. Her family also needs a better home, as their lease is up this month. They want to move to a home with better air conditioning and water system, but Angerman does not think moving to a warmer climate could help. She fears her daughter will sweat more, which will cause rashes and blisters.

About a month ago, Angerman and her husband, Dan, launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds and awareness for her daughter's condition. So far, 790 donors have given $35,473 of the $50,000 goal.

"My heart hurts for your daughter and family," one donor wrote. "Having to watch your own child suffer without being able to help is the most heart wrenching experience, as a parent. I hope and pray that Ivy finds some relief at her new home. I wish you the best. Do not give up hope! Keep fighting for your little girl."

"God Bless you little one. I hope you can find a way to live comfortably," another added.

"We can't put into words how happy it makes us to know that strangers care," Angerman told PEOPLE after the donations came in. "It makes you realize how there are a lot of good people in this world."

Angerman said she is listening to any suggestion people offer. The biggest challenge right now is to keep Ivy calm.

"The more she cries, the worse the reaction is, but she's too young to understand that," Angerman said. "We don't know what will happen, but we thank everyone for their support. It means the world. We don't feel like we're in this alone."


Photo credit: GoFundMe