Young Santa Clarita resident Damian Markham will be celebrating his second birthday May 24. But it might be one of his last. Damian was recently diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Acid Sphingomyelinase Deficiency (ASMD).
If nothing is done to stop or slow the disease’s progression, he is not expected to live past age five. Described as a social and happy child who loves music, Damian’s disorder is characterized by loss of muscle tone, failure to thrive, and rapid neurodegeneration.
“He just keeps getting weaker and weaker,” Damian’s father Brock Markham shared as part of a recent Youtube video alongside his wife Brittany. “We’re just supposed to wait for him to get pneumonia, have more seizures, eventually lose his ability to communicate with us and even remember who we are.”
In an age of crowdfunding, Brock and Brittany Markham have turned to their community with a radical proposition: to raise the money needed to fast-track the Wylder Nation Foundation’s research on ASMD and initiate a clinical trial in time to save Damian’s life.
“I’m devastated, but I’m also determined,” Brittany Markham said in a recent social media post. “Treatments have been in development and if they can only get more funding and public exposure, it may be done in time for Damian to be part of the clinical trial.”
In the fundraiser’s first twenty-four hours, Santa Clarita residents and viewers around the world contributed over $20,000 on GoFundMe. With an estimated $3 million needed to fund the Wylder Nation Foundation’s research, Brock and Brittany Markham still have a long way to go, but they are working tirelessly to give Damian hope for a cure.
“Damian’s either going to survive long enough to do the treatment, or he’s gonna just miss it,” said Brittany Markham. “God knows I would do anything — whatever it takes — to save my son’s life.”
Support Damian Markham and the Wylder Nation Foundation by donating to “Please Save Damian” on GoFundMe.