Brian's Journey with AS

Brian Mattar is the oldest of 6 children (5 boys and I girl) born to his supportive parents, Lourdes and Alberto Mattar.  This amazing  family gives so much to their community!  They are loved and their friends want to help them on this journey! To do that we need your help too!  Here is Brian's story.

Brian is an Amazing athlete! Ever since he was young, he knew all he ever wanted to do was play in a professional league.   However, in March 2013, when Brian was just a junior in High School,  he started to feel pain and discomfort in his hip.  He just dismissed it as a pulled muscle or just soreness from his workouts. He did Physical Therapy for about 6 months.  Brian played his entire Junior year of football in horrible pain.  Never letting on to his team mates that he was in pain.  His parents knew something was not right when he could barely move one night.  The family pediatrician sent him to an adult rhuematologist.  The new Dr sent him thru a great deal of tests.  Genetic blood test, X-Rays, Bone Scans, MRIs, etc.  Finally 13 months later he had a diagnosis.  Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).  AS is a type of severe arthritis, which causes inflammation in the joints and ligaments of the spine.  Causing extreme chronic pain and stiffness.  In severe cases the spine can fuse, meaning an inflexible spine.   Movement is limited and often filled with pain.

It was shocking and hard for him to come to terms with this diagnosis, because it was now his Senior year playing football.   This was suppose to be the best and most unforgettable years of his life, and it was.  Brian was placed on Enbrel, which they thought worked until he started feeling worse and his color changed. His enzymes were high, he had anemia and his vitamin D levels were high as well.  Something was definitely still not right.

They are very fortunate to have their Football family! They led them to a Pediatric Rhuematologist.   She confirmed his diagnosis and he was taken off Enbrel.  He needed to have aggressive treaments to hopefully put the AS into remission. 

Through all this pain, Brian kept playing football.   Determined to play his senior year.  Determined to help his team  mates.  His college football plans were now sadly, put on hold.  They started him on Chemotherapy to help put the AS in remission.   This of course, takes an incredible toll on his body.  

Between the doctor and hospital visits, the multiple medications, therapies, Chemo and all the medications that comes along with his diagnosis, the Mattar family is looking at an ever growing Medical Bill.  Please consider donating to the Mattar family to help with the financial burden of his treatments.

This is the link to  Brian's news story! Everyone is SO proud of him! Please check it out!  Playing through the pain 

Brian has been blessed with amazing team mates, coaches,  the football family, the school and all his friends.  He is humbled by the love and support he has been shown.  Having faith in God, is what keeps him going.

Hopefully there will be a cure for AS soon, this way he can go on to play football. To do what he loves.  Until then he is learning how to live his life with chronic pain every day.

Thank you for reading and supporting this amazing guy!
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