Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Our Friend Wyatt

This is Wyatt.

Wyatt is a boy filled with joy, unending curiosity, and love. He enjoys going to preschool, helping his Dad in the garage, cooking with his Mom, kicking the soccer ball, and playing with anything that has wheels. Wyatt is like any other three-year-old: silly, energetic, naughty at times, and full of life. He brings boundless amounts of happiness to his parents, his family, his friends, and everyone who is lucky enough to meet him.  He is the perfect reminder that life is for living out loud.

Wyatt also has a horrible disease that will rob him of his mobility; his speech; his ability to read, write, eat and drink; and ultimately, will take his life.  In September 2011, Wyatt was diagnosed with a very rare and degenerative disease called Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T).  The disease is progressive and affects the control that Wyatt has over each of his muscles.  If you take the symptoms of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, AIDS, and cancer and put them together--you have the symptoms of A-T.

In the time since Wyatt's diagnosis, his days (as well as the days of his remarkable parents, Mike and Maggie) have been filled with tears, doctor's visits, therapy sessions, blood tests, and endless waiting for results.  But they have also been filled with laughter, love, and the boundless energy of a three-year-old.  The road is long and the fight is unfair, and every days calls for courage and bravery.  Wyatt's name means "little or brave warrior" and he is exactly that.  

A-T is considered to be an "orphan" disease, meaning there is no government funding for research. Approximately 500 children in the United States and Canada are afflicted by the disease, and all progress in research and development depends on donations from individuals and private organizations.  Every advancement in research brings life-improving therapies and the hope for a cure. Research into A-T can also help medical advancements on more "mainstream" diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, various kinds of cancers, and immune deficiencies.  Wyatt deserves hope.  So do his parents.  So do all of the children devastated by this cruel disease.

So, what can we do?  Well, this Labor Day weekend, Mike, Maggie, Wyatt, and their family and supporters (alongside other A-T families) will be running/walking in the annual A-T Race for a Cure in Disneyland.  Research is the best hope for doing something about A-T and research takes money.  They need help in this fight.  You can click here to go Team Wyatt's page to read more about him and make a donation in his name.  Please consider donating if you can.  Even a few dollars makes a difference to Wyatt and his fellow brave warriors.

We love Wyatt and we love his parents.  You don't need to know them personally to know that no one deserves the suffering and devastation that A-T causes.  Wyatt deserves the chance to life a long life, free of pain, and full of hope.  Help us show him that hope.

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