By CHERIL VERNON
A benefit garage sale on Saturday will help raise funds for a Westwood family to learn more about their 7-year-old son’s rare disease.
Westwood Primary School first-grader Caden Bailey, son of James and Ashley Bailey, was diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder which causes progressive deterioration of the nervous system, a few years ago. A person with NPC is unable to metabolize cholesterol and other lipids properly within the cell. The disease affects the brain, liver, spleen and lungs, causing problems with speech, swallowing, balance and fine motor skills.
“We are trying to raise money to go to the next medical convention on Niemann Pick Type C in August in Baltimore, Md.,” his mother Ashley said Tuesday. “We are looking for them to give us information on what’s going on as far as research. They do have a new medication in clinical trial that helps but isn’t a cure, and we hope to hear more news on that.”
Caden now has to wear a helmet and leg braces.
“It helps with his stability,” Ashley said. “The braces help keep him straight. He is still mobile, but it is hard for him to get around.”
Since he was 18 months old, Caden has had to undergo special tests due to an enlarged spleen. In 2011, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. A special skin graph a Houston doctor suggested two summers ago led to the Niemann-Pick diagnosis.
Last year, his parents took Caden to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. for their first of probably many appointments with Dr. Marc Patterson, who has worked with more Niemann-Pick patients in the United States than any other doctor.
The garage sale will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 201 Clover Lane in Westwood.
“We have lots of things that have been donated to us for the sale — lots of furniture, household and kitchen items, a trampoline, lots of baby items such as strollers and high chairs and lots of clothes and shoes,” Ashley said.
Donations also will be accepted.
Project Caden t-shirts and wrist bands also will be available.
Caden’s father is employed as a correctional officer at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Beto Unit. His mother is a stay-at-home mom. Caden has two siblings — sister Megan, 10, and brother Camrin, 5.