Our son, Ethan, was diagnosed with peroxisomal biogenesis disorder - zellweger spectrum disorder (PBD-ZSD), a very rare genetic disease, when he was just four weeks old. There is no cure for PBD-ZSD and treatment is symptomatic. This is our PBD-ZSD journey.
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Physical Therapy - February 4, 2016
PBD-ZSD affects every child differently. In the first year of Ethan's life, when he was meeting a few of his gross milestones not all that far behind schedule we hoped and prayed that Ethan would end up developing the skills and abilities that would put him on the milder end of the spectrum of the disease. However, as he continued to fall further and further behind, develop additional health challenges, and faced multiple setbacks it became clear that Ethan's symptoms (or ability level) place him somewhere closer to the middle of the spectrum of severity for PBD-ZSD.
Ethan will be 6 in July and while we are thrilled to say that Ethan can walk short distances independently, his balance and endurance continue to be a major issue. Since the return of the seizures late this past Fall, we have been fighting hard to keep the mobility that he has fought so hard to achieve.
One of the things that Ethan has been working on for months, both at school and at outpatient PT is riding an adaptive bike (tricycle). In the last few weeks Ethan has seemed to really be catching on to the process and he seems to enjoy going fast!
When I started this blog I don't think that I could have imagined a time would come in which months would go by without me writing. However, that is what has happened.
So much has changed over the last almost eight years since Ethan's birth and subsequent diagnosis with PBD-ZSD, yet at the same time so much hasn't. Unlike parents of typically developing children we find ourselves still parenting a child with complex medical needs who's developmental skills range anywhere from 9 to 18 months. Ethan still has PBD-ZSD, and right now his uncontrollable seizures are a major issue. We still fight PBD-ZSD the best we can each day with a basket full of medications and supplements and other medical interventions (feeding tube, cochlear implant, AFOs, etc), numerous therapies, school (which Ethan loves), and prayer. We advocate for him and all children and families impacted by PBD-ZSD and related peroxisomal disorders through our involvement in the Global Foundation for Peroxiso…
October 5th is a special day for our family as we celebrate #PauseForPBD, the annual awareness day for The Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders (GFPD). [Jeff's birthday also happens to be October 5th but he doesn't seem to mind sharing it with #PauseForPBD day.] Our son, Ethan, is 7 years old and is one of less than 200 children, known to the GFPD, living worldwide with Peroxisome Biogenesis Disorder (PBD). Ethan has a contagious smile and laugh, despite the fact that PBD has caused him to have severe cognitive and physical delays. Peroxisome Biogenesis Disorder (also known as Zellweger Spectrum Disorder), is a rare, genetic condition affecting multiple organ systems in the the body. PBD is generally fatal in childhood. As a parent, it is difficult to express the sense of loneliness and feelings of isolation that enter your life when your child has a rare genetic disease that most people have never heard or and has no cure. However, #PauseForPBD, is a day that brings o…
This Saturday we are hosting the first annual Pancakes for PBD benefit. All the proceeds will go to the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders to help offset the costs for our family and others like us to attend this summer's 2012 Family Support Conference in Orlando, FL.
We hope that this will become an annual tradition and allow us to help raise awareness and money for peroxisomal biogenesis disorders.