January 7, 2014
Shrinking Cerebellum Leaves Oregon Boy Unable To Blink
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
A mysterious illness has left a three-year-old Oregon boy with a partially paralyzed face and the inability to blink his eyes due to a shrinking cerebellum, ABC News and other media outlets reported on Monday.
According to Gilliam Mohney of ABC’s Good Morning America, Corban’s cerebellum is apparently shrinking, which can cause nerve degeneration and impair motor function. Despite years of testing, doctors have been unable to provide concrete answers for the boy's condition. They told Corban and his family that a genetic abnormality is the most likely culprit, but multiple tests searching for specific abnormalities have all come back negative.
His doctors have recommended that Corban be taken to the Mayo Clinic, but as the Daily Mail pointed out, that facility charges an initial consultation fee of $20,000 and the family’s insurance will not cover a visit there. The Durant family has turned to bake sales, car washes, and online fund-raising efforts in an attempt to help Corban get the medical care that he needs.
“We're really hoping for a diagnosis, an overall diagnosis of his condition, so that we are able to care for him the best that we can and help prolong his life and make it full,” his mother, Natasha Durant, told reporters. She explained that his current doctors “were working on this for four years” and “decided it’s time for him to see a new team.”
“While the disease has taken a physical toll, Durant said Corbin [sic] remains a very outgoing kid and he appears to be aware of how other people perceive his illness,” Mohney said.
Likewise, Natasha said that until three months ago, the energetic Corban “didn’t have a care in the world… [but] he’s starting to understand.” She added that she is hopeful that the Mayo Clinic doctors will be able to find “something to slow it down.”