The Short of It
The parents of a Colorado boy are hoping to find a cure for a rare skin condition that is turning their son into stone.
Jaiden Rogers was diagnosed with stiff-skin syndrome when he was only 7 years old. Rock-like legions first appeared under his skin and they gradually became more visible. Now he's 10, and the condition covers so much of his body that he is on oxygen and unable to go to school.
"It started as a small little patch, and it spread all over," Jaiden's mom, Natalie, told ABC News. "They're trying to slow it down as much as they can."
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Stiff-skin syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that leads to lesions with increased fibrotic tissue that can cause the hard or "rock-like" appearance. According to the National Institutes of Health, the disease can progress over time and cause mobility issues, especially over lower body joints. To date, there is no proven treatment.
But Natalie told ABC they're hoping to find a doctor or therapy that can help Jaiden get better. In the meantime, however, the effect of the disorder has taken a toll on her son.
"He's very outgoing," she said. "[But] he's on so many meds, most of the time he's tired and strung out."
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Poor Jaiden. This is such a sad story. And while there have been a bunch of different meds tested for the condition, including steroids, immunosuppressants, and light therapy, the NIH says none have worked effectively.
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But Natalie and her husband Tim are not giving up. It's their hope that by sharing Jaiden's story and by raising funds on a YouCaring website, they will get help finding a way to treat the disease and slowing its progression.
"Literally, it's turning him to stone," Natalie said. "He'll be entombed in himself if we can't find something."