GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We all need someone to push us to take the next step, but it’s up to us to stay the course.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to get there,” said Maddie Daniel.

With the help of her physical therapist, Daniel is on a journey to defeat her fiercest competition, Functional Neurologic Disorder, also known as Functional Neurological Disorder.

Doctors diagnosed her two years ago. Daniel opened up about her battle in honor of International FND Day, recognized every April 13 to bring awareness to the disorder.

“I just want to have my life back that I had before this,” said Daniel.

News 8 Daybreak Anchor Donovan Long knows what Daniel is going through. His parents watched him battle the same disorder nearly five years ago.

“We were very scared,” said Traci Long, Donovan’s Long’s mom.

“It was a complete 180 mentally, psychologically and emotionally,” Donovan Long’s dad, Mike, continued.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Functional Neurologic Disorder refers to a “group of common neurological movement disorders caused by an abnormality in how the brain functions.”

The NIH reported an estimated “four to 12 people per 100,000” will develop FND but that it’s more common in women. It can lead to paralysis, difficulty walking, seizures, speech problems and issues with memory, among other symptoms.

Donovan Long struggled with a lot of them.

“There were a lot of nights that I cried that you didn’t know about,” said Traci Long. “It was a lot of asking ‘Why? What’s the future going to look like? Is he going to be able to walk again?'”

Doctors don’t know what causes FND but say another neurological disorder, or a reaction to stress or trauma can trigger it.

A car accident caused Donovan Long’s symptoms.

“This can happen right out of the blue and sometimes we never find a particular trauma or incident or stress,” said Dr. Douglas Henry, Medical Director of Pediatrics at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. “So, we not only need to treat the muscles, but the mind issue as well.”

Treatment for Long involved psychology, physical, occupational, speech and memory therapy. It’s nearly the same for Daniel.

“Most patients, at least kids, will have a full recovery, but they can relapse and sometimes that can be a random relapse,” said Dr. Henry. “We don’t know what sets it off or sometimes it can be a physical injury or a stressful event.”

As knowledge about FND continues evolving in the medical community, Daniel and Donovan Long’s family have found self-motivation to be some of the best therapy.

“You have to take the cards that life deals you and play the very best hand that you can,” said Mike Long.

When each of us get winded, it’s okay to catch our breath but we must get back up and finish our race.

“You have the power to keep going,” said Daniel.