Aaron D.

Condition: Friedreich's Ataxia
City, State: Medford, OR
Club: Talent Middle School Sparrow Club Service Hours: 332
Date Adopted: 11/17/2017

Aaron's Story:
Aaron is an eleven-year-old boy who attends Talent Middle School. This sixth-grade year of school looks much different than his past years have looked.

When Aaron was in first grade his mother started to notice that he appeared to be significantly falling behind in his fine motor skills and his physical abilities.

His mother encouraged him to keep focused on developing his physical skills, but as time progressed, Aaron’s abilities were decreasing. Aaron’s mother was receiving calls daily that her son was falling frequently at school, even with the aid of physical therapy sessions.

The situation grew concerning enough that doctors decided it was time to run some in-depth tests. Genetic testing was done, and x-rays, lumbar punctures, CAT scans, and various blood samples were studied.

Finally, geneticists diagnosed Aaron with a very rare and progressive life-threatening condition called, Friedreich’s ataxia.

Friedreich’s ataxia is a disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system. It manifests in initial symptoms of poor coordination in body movement and agility. It can also lead to other health complications.

This is the case for Aaron. This condition has also caused him to develop Type 1 Diabetes, his hearing has been affected, and he suffers with swelling in his heart. This condition is a very cruel one to live with.

With Friedreich’s ataxia, the spinal cord and peripheral nerves slowly degenerate. Once the degeneration happens, the disease then works its way inward, attacking the organs. This disorder does not affect thinking and reasoning abilities, although, Aaron does have challenges in these areas, due to being on the autistic spectrum.

This young man has had to face some incredible challenges over the last few years and will continue to face them. However, he finds joy in spending time with his family, cuddling up with his two guinea pigs, creating masterful YouTube videos, and building Lego sets.

Aaron will be adopted as a Sparrow to Talent Middle School. Students at TMS will work hard to raise money for Aaron through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.


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