Community Builds Boy with Rare Disease a “Man Cave” to Recover from Surgeries

This is a great story about people coming together for a young boy with a rare disease, reported by a local tv news affiliate.

Members of the Rhode Island State Police, along with the imPpossible Dream (a charitable organization in Rhode Island) made a “man cave” just for 10-year old Travis; where he ‘can chill’ while recovering from his many surgeries.

Travis is living with a rare disease called caudal regression syndrome.

What is Caudal Regression Syndrome?

Caudal regression syndrome is a disorder that impairs the development of the lower (caudal) half of the body. It may affect the lower back (including the spinal cord), limbs, genitourinary tract, and the gastrointestinal tract.

The specific features and severity of the disorder vary among affected people. Caudal regression syndrome may have different causes in different people, and is likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Management is supportive and may include surgery. The prognosis is poor; some newborns with severe cases do not survive the neonatal period. Those that survive infancy usually have normal cognitive function.

To learn more about caudal regression syndrome, click here.

Making a Wish Come True

Since being diagnosed with caudal regression syndrome, Travis has undergone over 20 surgeries — including major operations on his bladder, stomach and mouth. Travis made his wish to the imPossible Dream organization, asking for a man cave, specifically so he could recover from a major upcoming surgery.

So when the Associates of Rhode Island State Police happened to make a $3,000 donation to imPossible Dream last December, they stumbled upon Travis’s wish!

They immediately rallied volunteers and donors to help make his dream come true. And that they did.

“One of the things he said when he found out he was getting this wish was, ‘I appreciate that people appreciate what I’ve been through,’” said Kadie Williams, Travis’ mother.

Last February, Travis was presented with an array of Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots memorabilia for his man cave, including a signed jersey from New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski.

Travis really loves his New England teams!

He was also given tickets to a boxing match, autographed boxing gloves, and a framed Rhode Island State Police patch. It really was a team effort.

“God bless people,” said Diane Florio Penza, who is the executive director of the imPossible Dream. “They are so generous when it comes to making dreams come true for children.”

Helping even one person makes a huge difference!

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