A Fruitland teen is working to raise awareness about a relatively new and rare bone disease.
Thirteen-year-old Bryce Fisher suffers from Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis (CRMO), which in his case is severely affecting the bones in his back.
CRMO is a bone disease, mostly found in children, where their immune system attacks certain bones in their body.
It all started for Bryce about a year ago when he fell jumping on the trampoline.
“I told him suck it up and I brushed it off,” said Carolyn Anderson, Bryce’s mother.
A month later, Bryce was still in pain.
“They send us in for an X-ray and the X-ray came back normal,” said Anderson.
An MRI showed Bryce had crushed a vertebra. He underwent extensive testing to figure out why. After about a year, he was finally diagnosed with CRMO.
“It's quite an unusual condition. It's estimated that 1 in 500,000 to a million kids,” said. Dr. Patrick Knibbe, a rheumatologist at St. Luke’s said.
The illness causes selected bones to weaken, collapse, or even fracture a lot easier.
“We'll see kids with a crushed vertebra that should occur in their grandmother that occurs when they're 12 or 13,” said Knibbe.
The increased risk of getting sick or injured has kept Bryce both out of school and out of sports.
“We're not keeping him in a bubble by any means, but we're not either putting him at risk of getting hurt,” said Jason Fisher, Bryce’s father.
“Bryce loves lacrosse and Bryce loves soccer, and Bryce can't do those again because he could break a bone so easily. He could have a flare up and not know it,” said Anderson. “This has been heartbreaking. I would give anything to put it in my body, so it wouldn't be in his.”
Currently, he’s having to do all his school work at home.
“It’s been kinda hard being away from my friends, but I still stay in touch with them,” said Bryce.
However, this 13-year-old is taking everything in stride.
“Well, I try to find the good stuff, like, I get to go to Seattle and see a lot of cool stuff and try a lot of new things,” said Bryce.
He even plans to pick up swimming and start his own video blog to help spread awareness about the condition.
“I was thinking I could make a difference and try to help people,” said Bryce.
Doctors say there’s a chance Bryce’s CRMO could run its course, but until then he’s not going to let that stop him from living his life.
“It's been a little hard, yeah but I still try to find the good in everything,” said Bryce.
Bryce is currently taking anti-inflammatory medications to help treat his CRMO. He’s hoping to get onto infusions to help strengthen his bones.
The disease is relatively new so a lot of research is still being done, including what causes it.
Family has set up a YouCaring account to help Bryce and his immediate family with medication and travel costs.