More than one-third of Americans are obese, while the rest are obsessed with fad diets, super foods, and nutritional supplements, but one California boy with a rare disease can only dream of such things.
That’s because 6-year-old Carter Stiles lives with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, a rare disease that makes him allergic to everything he eats and has forced doctors to insert a feeding tube into his stomach, according to 23 ABC News.
What’s worse is the number of people diagnosed with the rare disease is on the rise, and there’s still no cure.
Dr. Howard Bostwick, a pediatric gastroenterologist with Children’s and Women’s Physicians of Westchester, told the Journal News he’s been seeing more cases of the rare disease.
“Everybody knows about Lyme disease and celiac disease, but they’re totally blindsided when you bring this up. It’s become probably one of the major diagnoses we make. You take a 14-year-old boy who’s eating, and all of sudden the food sticks and he becomes completely unable to swallow it. Overwhelmingly, when this happens to a child of this age and we investigate it, they turn out to have eosinophilic esophagitis.”
The rare disease once afflicted 1 in 10,000, but now affects 1 in 1,000, according to the Journal News. EOE primarily affects young men who have other allergies including asthma and eczema.
Most people have never heard of the rare disease EOE, which can cause throat pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, and trouble swallowing. It’s a chronic allergic reaction of the esophagus caused by an overgrowth of white blood cells.
The rare disease causes the body’s white blood cells to attack the digestive system causing the patient to vomit. Most people with the rare disease have to dramatically change their eating habits or face permanent damage, but that isn’t an option for Carter who is allergic to all foods.
He was forced to have a feeding tube inserted into his stomach.
That’s what prompted Carter’s mom, Brandy, to start a fun run in their home town of Bakersfield to raise money for CURED, the foundation researching a cure for EOE.
Saturday marked the fifth annual Carter’s Walk 4 CURED in Bakersfield, including a 5k and 10k run along with live music and a silent auction. The event has helped raise more than $100,000 towards a cure.
Thankfully, researchers have made at least some progress toward a cure for the rare disease after discovering a genetic marker that may aid in diagnosis and treatment of the rare disease, according to the Inquisitr.
Current treatment for the rare disease EOE consists of drinking a terrible tasting elemental amino acid formula and steroids, but Carter and his supporters will continue running for a cure until one is found.
[Photos from Carters Walk 4 CURED/Facebook]