Gabe is a super sweet and funny 7 year old boy. He is the second oldest of four brothers. He loves to read, draw, ride his bike and play basketball. He is so smart and the best snuggler in the whole world!
In February 2013 when Gabe was 6 years old he was diagnosed with Nystagmus-an involuntary, rapid and repetitive movement of the eyes. He was sent to see a neurological opthamologist at OHSU in Portland. At this initial appointment it was determined that his Nystagmus was congenital and did not need any treatment at that time. However; at his check-up in January 2014 the Doctor noticed an increase in the severity of the nystagmus which led him to order an MRI. The MRI showed that Gabe has a Type 1 Chiari Malformation. This is a malformation of the brain and skull which results in the cerebrellar tonsils being forced through the opening at the back of the skull where the spinal cord meets the brain. The skull is putting pressure on his brain and limiting the flow of spinal fluid. This has resulted in a secondary condition know as Syringomyelia-the spinal fluid has started to pool up in the spinal cord and a small cyst is forming. We have been to see a pediatric neurosurgeon at OHSU and she has recommended decompression surgery. She will open up the back of his head and remove small pieces of his skull to relieve the pressure on the brain and allow the spinal fluid to flow freely. There is also hope that by decompressing the brain Gabe's Nystagmus will not continue to worsen.
We are so thankful and blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family members that have supported us during this journey. Our family has already started to feel the financial burden of these diagnoses. Not only do we have medical bills, but, becuase we live five hours from Gabe's doctor's and hospital, every check-up can cost us hundreds of dollars in travelling expenses. Any help that we receive-no matter how small-will be very much appreciated.