When Benjamin was a toddler he began to limp and experienced increasing amounts of pain. His physicians could not diagnose him, and tests were inconclusive—an X-ray revealed a dark spot in his bone marrow, but a follow-up MRI did not provide any answers. Benjamin’s physicians referred him to Duke Children’s, where he was diagnosed with chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis. This rare autoimmune disease causes the body to think that there is an infection in the bone marrow. The body then destroys the healthy bone marrow, leaving empty spots, or lesions, that cause intense pain. Sometimes these lesions are filled in naturally, and sometimes they require medical assistance.
Benjamin and his family maintain this chronic condition through regular visits to Duke Children’s. Benjamin is now in the 8th grade and, despite his illness, is an active and happy preteen. He is a member of his school’s Honor Roll, loves the movie The Greatest Showman, and enjoys doing science experiments. He especially loves his big sister, Colette.
Benjamin and his family also love giving back to Duke Children’s. When asked why, Benjamin said: “I can’t change that I have this disease, but by helping raise funds for other kids it is like God is giving me a do-over. I can make it better for other kids.” Duke Children’s could not achieve its mission of providing world-class care without the generosity of individuals like Benjamin, and without the help of people like you. Thank you for considering a donation to Duke Children’s!