A mum has shared a public thank you to a young boy at a science museum who took time to play with her son who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Katie Leigh Myers from Florida posted a photo of the boy and her 18-month-old son Kaden to her Facebook campaign page that aims to raise awareness of the condition.
“To the little boy at the science museum, I don’t know who you are, but thank you for being amazing,” she wrote. “You let my son play and engage with you. You helped him pick up balls from the floor when you saw that he could not. You didn’t ask what was wrong with him or why he couldn’t walk; you just saw him.
“Kaden is a lot like you. He is very curious and wildly smart. He wants to know how everything works. Thank you for helping him turn the lever when you noticed he was too weak to do it himself. You will probably never see this but just by being you, you make this world better.”
Karen’s condition, SMA, is a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement. It’s caused by deterioration in the nerve cells connecting the brain and spinal cord to the body’s muscles.
When Kaden was 2-weeks-old he became sensitive to his mum’s breastmilk and had a lot of reflux but his mum didn’t realise anything was wrong. “Up until 5 months, Kaden seemed right on track – even ahead of other babies with his milestones,” she writes on her website.
“He did fantastic at his 6-month checkup but, as his mother, I was hesitant. His pediatrician always brushed issues off as ‘new mommy syndrome,’ but I questioned his lack of rolling and bearing weight.”
So Katie started searching the internet for her son’s symptoms. “After searching for days, I finally came across Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I felt a part of myself die inside because every symptom and characteristic sounded exactly like our Kaden.
“I rushed to get him into a neurologist and sat in horror as he was unable to find reflexes in Kaden’s knees. He questioned Kaden’s shaky hands and low tone, and I knew his questions pointed towards SMA.”
Kaden was finally diagnosed with the degenerative disease at 7 months old and Katie was told there was no cure or treatment. Now Katie fights to raise awareness of her son’s condition – and to thank small, kind strangers.