Michael is your typical, athletic 14-year-old boy who enjoyed competitive swimming, running Cross Country, fishing, NASCAR, Star Wars, shooting airsoft guns, loves our country, our military, Texas, debating politics, Marvel, and being active with friends. Michael placed 9th at a State Cross Country meet during his 8th grade year.
Just prior to his Freshman year of High School, in June 2020, he experienced the sudden onset of bilateral hearing loss. Soon to follow in October 2020 he had ongoing issues with both of his eyes, worsening hearing loss, and a numbness and weakness in his feet and legs that led to a hospital stay in December 2020. After seven months of this medical mystery, in February 2021 Michael was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Mitchell Syndrome. The disease is so rare, Michael is only the fifth person in the world with this documented diagnosis. There is no known cure though researchers are steadily working towards this goal.
Mitchell Syndrome is named after Mitchell Herndon, who passed away at age 19 from this neurodegenerative disease. Towards the end of his life, he was given a drug that may help Michael. Mitchell paved the way so Michael has a fighting chance. While this drug is still in the trial stage, and it's effectiveness is unknown, we are hopeful it will stop the nerve degeneration in Michael's body.
This group is being set up to follow Michael’s journey and rally around him on the road ahead. We welcome prayers and support as we travel the unknown and shine a light on Mitchell Syndrome.