13-Year-Old Faces the Isolating Challenges of CRMO

Keeping a smile on 13-year-old Bryce Fisher’s face is starting to get difficult. When all of his friends are going to school and involving themselves in fun activities, Bryce has to stay home, due to his rare condition called chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), reports The Argus Observer. This rare disease causes Bryce to have a sensitive, weakened immune system that ends up attacking it’s own healthy bones.

CRMO is known to affect one out of every million people in the world, Bryce falling into that category. The disorder is known to cause a multitude of problems, including inflammation, skeletal damage, bone deformity, easily broken bones, all leading to excruciating pain. To read about osteomyelitis, click here.
Bryce hurt his back a year and a half ago, right before he turned 12 years old. At the time, he was jumping on a trampoline and ended up crushing a vertebra. After his accident, it took a good year and a half to identify the problems and rule out cancer as a possibility. After extensive testing, including bone biopsies, Bryce received his diagnosis on January 19th, 2018.

Bryce had to undergo many different tests, such as blood tests, bone scans, MRIs, and X-rays. He will have to continue with tests even though his condition is now identified, as it is likely that he will have more collapsing vertebrae. As he gets older, the disease progresses, becoming more intense.

Other health concerns that often develop alongside the disease is Crohn’s disease, asthma, arthritis, eczema and more. Bryce continues to try to find a balance and filter through medications to find one that will stick and help with his pain. Many patients suffering from CRMO losing all their physical mobility and end up in wheelchairs. It is very likely that Bryce will end up in one as well as he more recently started developing a limp. Yet, Bryce will continue to fight and not let his disease define him.

Because of his health condition, Bryce isn’t able to go back to 7th grade right now, although his teachers and family are doing the best they can to keep him up to date. Seeing his friends, or even just going outside could further compromise his faltering immune system. His mother says the social isolation had been difficult and lonely for him.

His family has set up a fundraising page to help with his treatments and medical assistance. They are currently in a fight with their insurance, who claims the infusions Bryce needs are “not medically necessary.”It may be a hair less expensive to pay for the medication than to do a spine reconstructive surgery. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so at their YouCaring here.

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