The life of a 5-year-old usually involves playing, running and enjoying all kinds of activities. But that’s not the life Alexandriea Watson knows.

Since August, when her physical problems were first noticed, Alex has increasingly experienced difficulties with routine movements.

“She’s had lots of difficulties,” her mother Amanda Watson said. “She can’t run, she’s in a lot of pain and she can’t tend to personal needs.”

Alex has been diagnosed with morphea, and it’s the most severe form, Watson said. Her doctors managed to catch it early, but it’s progressed rapidly. She travels to Dallas each week for treatment, even though her family can’t afford them and has no insurance to pay for them.

A fund-raiser will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Wal-Mart to help them offset those expenses. Snow-cones and other items will be sold. Also, an account in Amanda Watson’s name has been established at Citibank, where donations may be made. The account number is 9784889108.

“Morphea is incurable, but treatable and could be put into remission with treatment,” Watson said. “No donation is too small. We appreciate any help.”

The disease, which turns a person’s skin hard, has appeared on Alex’s hands, legs and arms, and may have begun to affect her mouth, her mother said. The family expects Alex will soon be referred to a Houston specialist who sees patients only with morphea.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s Web site, morphea is a localized form of scleroderma, a term that literally means “hard skin.” It’s a condition that can cause a wide variety of problems, from skin discoloration to internal organ damage. The exact cause of morphea is unknown. It’s usually chronic or recurrent, but it’s not hereditary. Researchers believe a reaction of the immune system plays a role in the development of the condition.