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 read 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.
St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.
Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.
Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.
Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
It’s going to be a cold weekend so if you’re headed out to the James River Parade of Lights or the Richmond Road Runners Club Toy Run 5K in Innsbrook, you’d better bundle up! If you’re looking for some indoor ways to celebrate the holidays, check out Three-Penny Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story for Christmas” or “To Drive the Cold Winter Away: An Irish Celebration of the Returning Light” at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Glen Allen. Also this weekend – the Henrico Theatre will show the holiday classic “Home Alone." For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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CalendarSenior citizens group Elderberries will meet at 11:30 a.m. at the American Legion Post #244, located at 2522 Indale Rd. in Glen Allen. The Finney’s will provide a Christmas program with music and video. Guests are asked to bring a covered dish; the Elderberries will provide beverages, meat and dessert. Everyone is welcome. The group meets the second Wednesday of each month, year-round. For details, call Brenda Anderson at 672-0074. Full text