Friendships may come and go, but you’re stuck with your sibling. This relationship is oftentimes one of the longest relationships in a person’s life. Our siblings are our family tree. They are a part of who we are, and that relationship is a shared history that makes this unique relationship invaluable.
And for two young brothers, according to The National, their bond extends further than sharing toys or a snack on the couch while watching a Pixar movie. One-year-old Ryan and his six-year-old brother Reslan have Zellweger Spectrum Disorders.
Zellweger spectrum disorders are a group of rare, genetic, multisystem disorders that were once thought to be separate entities.
These disorders are now classified as different expressions (variants) of one disease process. Collectively, they form a spectrum or continuum of disease.
Individuals with Zellweger syndrome, at the severe end of the spectrum, develop signs and symptoms of the condition during the newborn period. These infants experience weak muscle tone (hypotonia), feeding problems, hearing and vision loss and seizures. The youngster’s father, Khaled Hawasli, describes it as a devastating disease.
When Reslan was born, he was wrongly diagnosed with cerebral palsy. At that time, Mr. Hawasli raised Reslan’s fatty food intake, but that only made his actual medical condition worsen. With Zellweger syndrome, the body can have a difficult time digesting fats. Reslan did not receive his true diagnosis until his brother Ryan was born. Ryan had the same exact symptoms as Reslan and they received their diagnosis at the same time.
Even before finally getting a correct diagnosis, most of Reslan’s hearing was already lost. In addition, he cannot swallow food, so he has to use a feeding tube. He cannot move very much. Ryan’s condition was a little better than his brother’s, though there was a chance it could worsen.
Even though there is no cure, Mr. Hawasli wanted his sons to have a better quality of life. In order to do so, Ryan needed a living liver transplant and Reslan needed a liver cell transplant to aid in the delay of deterioration. A hospital in Brussels stated that the medical cost for both of them was $140,000. The family asked for the support of others to help them reach the goal in order for them to have the procedures.