For the Rust family, 2015 was challenging—challenging in ways they never thought imaginable.
Why? Because this past year, their eight-year-old son Jourdin began displaying peculiar symptoms—extreme weight loss, in particular—which started the family on a months-long journey to a diagnosis.
Jourdin started the year fine; he began school like he always had, and spent the bulk of his time playing sports and hanging out with his brother. However months later, Jourdin’s mom Nichole, began noticing weight loss—drastic weight loss.
At first, Nichole brushed it off, assuming it had something to do with his active lifestyle. It wasn’t until Jourdin went through a growth spurt and was still losing weight that his mother began to worry.
“He would eat like a horse, but we couldn’t get him to gain any weight,” said Nichole.
In addition to the weight loss, Jourdin lost interest in the activities he once loved and began sleeping from the time he came home from school until the next morning when he left again. Becoming increasingly worried, his mother insisted they seek medical attention. There was just one problem: every doctor they saw brushed it off until, finally, Jourdin saw a doctor who insisted on lab work.
Thankfully, the lab work was conclusive: Jourdin had Type 1 diabetes and was immediately hospitalized. Seven days later, his doctors sought more answers and issued an MRI. The MRI provided an additional answer: Jourdin also had Addison’s disease.
Addison’s disease occurs when the body doesn’t create enough of the hormone that’s produced by the adrenal glands. With this disease, there’s not enough cortisol and aldosterone being produced.
As if Type 1 diabetes and Addison’s disease weren’t life-altering enough, Jourdin then received a third diagnosis: mitochondrial disease, a rare genetic disorder that has symptoms that include weak muscles, poor growth, autism-like features, and exercise intolerance.
Now you see why it’s been a tough year, huh?
However, with every struggle there’s always bright side, and Jourdin’s mother is pleased to share that he’s truly thriving. He’s in therapy, has grown six inches, and even played baseball this past summer.