SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. — A 3-year-old boy who suffers from a rare fatal disease can no longer talk, but his love of Christmas lights speaks much louder than words.
In April, Ryder Belisle was diagnosed with a rare, fatal genetic disorder called Sanfilippo Type B, KOMO reports. The disease, described by doctors as “Alzheimer’s for children,” causes the body to rapidly deteriorate.
“It’ll slowly take over his body and cause dementia,” said Ryder’s mother, Taci Belisle. “It’ll take over his central nervous system. It’ll destroy his liver, his kidneys. Eventually, he’ll be on a feeding tube, in a wheelchair, so even if he does make it, he’ll just be a vegetable.”
There aren’t many things little Ryder can do on his own, but Taci says he loves lights and sounds. So he spends much of his day watching cartoons or playing iPad games.
To help make her son happy, she started a Facebook page for Ryder called “Cure Ryder Sanfilippo Syndrome.” She hopes the page will raise awareness for the rare disease and motivate others to send pictures and videos of their Christmas lights with the hashtag “LightsForRyder.”
“It’d be so great to do that for him. I’d just love to see him smile,” she said. “It brings peace for a moment.”
Having no known cure for Sanfilippo Type B, the family is raising money to help fund clinical trials.