(Blythewood) - Every parent wishes the best for his or her child, and for one Blythewood family, that hope is simply that their son will one day be able to walk.
Now, Gena and Bill White want to spread word about the disease that left their toddler partially paralyzed.
Gena first noticed that something was wrong with her baby, Will, at five months old. As she changed his diaper, she noticed his legs were limp. Less than a week later, doctors diagnosed will with transverse myelitis (TM), a virus somewhat similar to multiple sclerosis in that it attacks the spinal chord.
"It was heartbreaking to think that your five-month-old is going to be paralyzed. You don't know what to do and you don't know if there is anything you can do," said Gena White, Will's mom.
Other than the fact that he uses a wheel chair to scoot around, Will's parents say he is as happy and healthy as any other child.
"A lot of people have a hard time imagining how you would deal with that, but you have to go on. You have to move forward," said Bill White, Will's dad.
To deal with the uncertainty, the Whites immersed themselves in a netword of TM support groups. Last spring they heard about a repository project at the UMASS Medical Center outside of Boston. The Accelerated Cure Project aims to collect health information from thousands of TM and MS patients in hopes of one day finding a cure.
"It's a whole world out there of parents who have it, children who have it. They were all in the same situation as we are," Gena said.
The Whites are doing everything they can in the hope that their son and others like him will one day be able to stand on their own.
What's more, they're hoping to plan fundraisers and a charity race in the Midlands that will raise support for the virus.
For much more information on this disease, you can click on the Cure for MS Website or the transverse myelitis page.
To find out more about Will White, go to Will's Fund page for the Accelerated Cure Project. There, people can donate money in his name to help with the project. And finally, people can go to Will White's Carepage. It has the history of Will and what he's gone through.