Isaac turns 2
Local child battling, overcoming rare syndrome
What a difference a year makes.
As Isaac Corbett celebrated his second birthday Oct. 4, his parents marveled at how far he has come since he was diagnosed with Hurler Syndrome last fall.
"One year ago, after receiving the diagnosis, we had very little hope for our child," said Isaac's father, Gabe. "One year ago, he was going backwards, and probably faster than we thought."
A rare genetic disorder, Hurler Syndrome generally takes the lives of its victims at only five to six years of age without treatment. But Isaac was diagnosed at a young enough age for doctors at Duke University Medical Center to perform a bone marrow transplant.
After living seven months in Durham, N.C., while Isaac underwent chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and the transplant, the Corbett family has returned to the Richmond area. "We still head down to Duke about once a month for an infusion," said Isaac's mother, Natalie, "and visit the clinic at MCV every two weeks for a blood draw and exam. . . We no longer have to give him daily infusions, only oral suspension medications."
"We have one resilient child," remarked Gabe.
Not only is Isaac progressing well with his weekly physical and speech therapy, but he is crawling, pulling up to a stand, and learning to climb stairs.
"We also enjoy witnessing his problem-solving skills in action and relish the fact that his mind is functioning well," said Natalie. "When asked what sound a cow, sheep, horse, and dog make, Isaac can respond appropriately.
"However, I am still waiting anxiously to hear him say 'Mama,' rather than continue to be associated with a cow – as Isaac says 'moo' instead."
Although Isaac's parents must take special care to guard against head injuries as Isaac learns to walk, their freedoms are expanding. They can invite a few healthy people into the home at a time, and even bring Isaac inside some other homes.
"We can now go to outdoor restaurants, be in the sunlight 10 minutes a day, and have him try people food again," said Gabe. "What most parents experience in one year of development, we’ve stretched over two and counting."
The Corbetts said they could not have come this far without the support of many friends and family members, including Gabe's mother, who helps with Isaac several days a week, and Natalie's mother, who lives in the Midwest but visited for several months. Other relatives and friends have helped look after Isaac, supplied food, assisted with household tasks, and volunteered in the community to raise funds for Isaac’s care.
For his recent birthday party, about a dozen family members filled the house to watch Isaac eat some cake.
"We had a blast," said Gabe of the occasion. "But he's very picky, [and we] ended up having to put his prized yogurt melts in and on top of the cake for him to even try it."
Following the birthday party, the family packed the car and headed to Duke so Isaac could get his scheduled infusion the next morning. "I guess it's just our life right now," said Gabe.
"There is a lot to keep track of with this busy little guy," Natalie said, noting that Isaac still faces surgeries to correct skeletal abnormalities in addition to the constant monitoring and medications.
"But he amazes us daily with his progress and determination."
To view a video of photos of Isaac's first two years, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33FKORU0Wa8 To re.ad the original story about Isaac ("New Life for Joy Boy," in the March 15 issue of the Citizen), visit http://www.henricocitizen.com/index.php/news/article/05477
Dr. Even Alexander, a New York Times best-selling author who has been featured on Oprah and Dr. Oz, was in town last week to promote his June 27 talk, "Proof of Heaven," at Glen Allen High School.
Alexander (pictured, at right, while Unity of Bon Air church member Harry Simmons interviews him) has written about what he considers to be his journey through the afterlife.
Tickets to this month's event are $25 and will support the new Bon Secours Hospice House being built later this year. > Read more.
The Innsbrook Rotary Club, which is celebrating its 25th year in 2015, has completed a number of volunteer projects this year and raised thousands of dollars for various organizations through three events.
The club's annual rose sale, benefit for youth live auction and Virginia Fire Games competition, combined with individual and corporate donations, have raised nearly $70,000 – money that the club contributes back to the community.
FeedMore is the beneficiary of the club's 25th anniversary project, which provides refrigerated trailers to be used for the distribution of food throughout Central Virginia. > Read more.
Chef Bryan Voltaggio will host a special three-course dinner event July 21-22 at his Willow Lawn Family Meal restaurant. The menu will consist of his favorite dishes and offer diners the chance to purchase a signed copy of his newly released book, HOME.
Voltaggio will attend and cook at each dinner, as well as share stories that inspired recipes for the book. > Read more.
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