Determined family seeks cause, cure for child's disease
Matthew Wuchich's parents are willing to do almost anything to increase awareness and research funding for AHC, or alternating hemiplagia of childhood.Posted — Updated
Matthew Wuchich's parents are willing to do almost anything to increase awareness and research funding for AHC, or alternating hemiplegia of childhood.
"You just don't know where to turn," his mom, Renee Wuchich said.
"There's no medication that's effective and approved in the U.S., so just getting the medication is so difficult, and then trying to figure out what his life is going to be like," she continued.
AHC afflicts Matthew, 3, with sudden, temporary bouts of paralysis that can last minutes, hours or even days. He is one of only about 600 known cases in the world.
"That's one of the problems with this disorder; it's just so rare," said Jeff Wuchich. "It's so difficult to diagnose that there's just not enough awareness of it."
Jeff Wuchich said Matthew's determination was what led him to take a leadership role in the foundation.
Matthew was born with complications. The paralysis started when he was about six months old. He needs special braces to walk and has difficulty learning. The attacks act as a short-circuit in his brain, his dad said.
"He should be running around, jumping, playing, asking a million questions, but he's not," his father said.
"He will still really try. You watch him trying to learn. He wants to learn. He wants to be able to do like other people and he pushes himself to do it."
"Right now, we don't know what causes AHC," said Jeff Wuchich. "They're pretty sure it's genetic, but this project will go toward confirming that."There is reason to hope the quarter-million dollars will make a huge impact.
"Other diseases that won this Pepsi grant have already made great strides in just the last year and cleared the way to finding a cure," Jeff Wuchich said.