Imagine the joy you would feel to learn that you were finally going to have a child, after waiting for many years. This was a dream come true for Emily Moore and Darrick Luton. This couple from Jamestown had been hoping for so long for that miracle. When little Wyatt was born last fall, mom and dad, as well as their extended family and friends, were overjoyed.
Two weeks later, Emily said, she got a call saying that a problem showed up in the bloodwork taken when Wyatt was born. After more tests at Children's Hospital in Buffalo, Emily and Darrick learned that their beautiful baby boy had been born with cystic fibrosis.
This genetic disease affects the lungs and digestive systems of those born with it. One in ten Americans carries the defective gene without any symptoms. Buildup in the lungs makes it hard to take in all the oxygen needed. Several times a day little Wyatt must have therapy performed to break up the congestion.
Anyone who's ever had a bad cold knows how hard it was to breathe. Imagine having to endure that for your entire life?
In addition, digestive system problems make it impossible for victims to get all the nutrients from foods. Young Wyatt has had to have solid baby foods since only a few weeks old, in order to give him medicines to help him get his nutrition and other needs. Emily said he is very good about eating at this early age. She stated that he loved sweet potatoes and applesauce, but didn't care much for peas.
To help this young family with the many health care expenses, the Red Knights, New York Chapter 9, and Brothers by Choice will host a benefit Saturday, March 10, at the Kennedy Fire Hall on Dailey Hill Road. Beginning at 2 p.m., spaghetti dinners will be served, and takeouts will also be available. Tickets are $5 in advance, and $7 at the door. Musical entertainment for the event is being provided by several local groups. Among them are Ray D O'Flyer, Shotgun Suite, and Ken Hardley. Items are being donated for a Chinese auction, 50/50 tickets will be sold, and a special drawing will be held for a queen-size quilt made by Kim Rogers. Douglas Tibbetts, little Wyatt's grandfather, said everyone has been very supportive.
At least once a month, a trip has to be made to Buffalo for tests and treatments. Insurance only covers a small portion of the costs. Emily said she has to keep a diary for Wyatt, not only to help with his care, but to help researchers at Children's Hospital who are working on future treatments for CF. She figures if she can help some other child in the future, as well as her own son, it is well worth the effort.
Emily said she not only has to be extra careful about germs, but that she will have to be watchful of his diet. Development of diabetes is another possible complication from cystic fibrosis. Although it is possible to live a fairly normal life with the disease, that is only if every measure is taken as soon as can be done to keep a person from further complications.
Emily told of a vest that has been developed which CF patients can wear that "pulsates" to help break up the congestion in the lungs. Little Wyatt is too young for that yet, but when he is older it would be a great benefit. However, it is very expensive, and not all insurance covers the cost.
For tickets in advance, or to make donations for the benefit, call 397-0520; 720-7323; or 483-1748.