Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clayton's Story

Age 8

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

Immune system disorder

Watch Clayton dig for buried treasure in his backyard and you’ll see his enthusiasm for life. You’d never know that underneath his pirate hat, 8-year-old Clayton suffers from a life-threatening illness with no cure.

Shortly after he turned 2, Clayton began experiencing high fevers that wouldn’t respond to treatment. Doctors discovered that his lungs were covered with infection. Time was running out as the infection seemingly spread out of control. He was sent to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center where doctors diagnosed Clayton with Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD), a rare immune system disorder that prevents Clayton’s body from fighting off mold and bacteria like a normal body does. Missing this key part of his immune system makes Clayton highly susceptible to infection caused by certain bacteria and fungi.

The road to recovery was hard, and Clayton endured many procedures, painful tests and surgery. Six years later, Clayton takes daily medication and injections three times a week without complaint. He knows he will have to live with his illness the rest of his life, but he is determined not to let it stop him from living like a normal kid.

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