Lubbock teen fights rare, genetic disorder

Lubbock teen fights rare, genetic disorder

Becky Garcia's oldest son Tristan came into this world a healthy child. Things changed when he turned 11.

"He started having falls at school with head injuries," Becky said.

Doctors diagnosed Tristan with cerebral palsy, a non-progressive brain disorder you're born with. For Becky, the explanation didn't add up.

"Tristan was developing issues and then they were getting worse," Becky said. For seven years the cause of his pain was a mystery.

"We went through rounds and rounds of treatments and medications," Becky said. Then, four months ago there was an answer.

"We got the diagnosis of hereditary spastic paraplegia. It's a progressive disease. It does not get better, it gets worse. There is no treatment and it's very rare," Becky said. HSP causes spinal nerves to deteriorate.
 
"He has almost no muscle tone in his lower legs," Becky said. "He has involuntary muscle spasms."

It was devastating news for an active boy.

"I love playing sports. Basketball is my favorite," Tristan said. He said the disease is limiting his body.
 
"You know running up and down the court, can't really do it anymore," Tristan said. However, the disease is not limiting his mind.

"Creative writing classes. I'm going to major in English literature when I go to college," Tristan said. The disorder is certainly not limiting his attitude.

"He hasn't let anything stop him," Becky said. However, she worries for her other children.

"I don't want to see my other kids go through that," Becky said. "All four of them could possibly develop this."

Tristan remains hopeful for his siblings.

"So yeah I just push it to the back of my mind and pray every day that it won't affect them," Tristan said. 
 
Tristan remains hopeful for his own future.

"I know I probably won't get a scholarship to Tech and make the Cowboys or anything, but if I can run again and do all that physically I think that would be like an outstanding achievement for me," Tristan said. 

Doctors say HSP could take his ability to walk.

"I know that if there is anyone that can motivate to defy the odds, that it's Tristan," Becky said.

Tristan goes back and forth from Lubbock to Dallas for treatments. He's getting ready for a big surgery in August.
On Sunday, July 19 a benefit is being held to help with medical expenses.
Music, food and entertainment offered for a $10 admission.
It's at the Sports Ballroom 1807 Parkway Drive from 11:30 a.m. to midnight.

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