A Santa Clarita Valley family is asking for the community’s help to raise funds for a 10-year-old boy’s surgery to help heal a rare bone condition in his jaw.
Austin Haddock is only 10, but he has already gone through quite a bit of living already. The condition of the tumor consuming his lower jaw is so rare there are fewer than 500 cases reported worldwide.
[GoFundMe page for Austin]
It is both fun and hard being 10. It is a time of excitement, exploration, learning and discovery, so the fewer complications pushing into this space, the better. It’s easier to go through this period of transition with friends, and Austin fights for this little bit of normalcy every day.
Austin has been diagnosed with a bone condition called Melanotic Neuroectodermal Tumor of Infancy (MNTI), a rare condition that primarily affects the jaws of newborns.
Discovered when he was only four months old, Austin has endured many surgeries as dental implants are placed in his jaw during these critical growth years so he can have a satisfying life later.
As the family preps for future surgeries to come, Austin’s uncle has started a GoFundMe page to hopefully defray the cost of both current and future medical expenses. This page gives a somewhat detailed history of Austin’s tribulations.
Striving to be a future engineer, Austin is involved in all the normal activities and wonderments of being ten – Xbox, Cub Scouts and hanging out with his friends. He has had numerous surgeries as his doctors work with various dental implants that will stimulate growth and reduce the rate of degradation condition produces.
After his numerous surgeries, there is sometimes a little slippage of school studies as his body adjusts to the pain, but Austin continues to bounce back.
“This boy has an amazing amount of strength”, said his uncle, Brett Haddock. “You would never know that he has been going through this his entire life. Austin is just a great, regular kid.”
Austin receives the bulk of his treatments at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. With so few cases around the world, there is not a team of doctors that can be flown in from around the globe, so medical strides are being made right in the Southern California area.
“Children’s Hospital has just been great,” said Haddock. “This is such a rare condition, we are lucky to have someone locally at Children’s Hospital who can stay on top of it.”
The Santa Clarita community is known for pulling together and Haddock hopes that he can focus that community attention through the funding page.
“We don’t know what the future holds, said Haddock. “We are crossing bridges as we come to them.”
– Chas Hoard