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Pain and Gain

When Benjamin was a toddler he began to limp, and experienced increasing amounts of pain. His physicians could not toddler diagnose him, and tests were inconclusive—an X-ray revealed a dark spot in his bone marrow, but a follow-up MRI did not provide any answers. Benjamin’s physicians referred him to Duke Children’s, where he was diagnosed with Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis. This rare autoimmune disease causes the body to think that there is an infection in the bone marrow. The body then destroys the healthy bone marrow, leaving empty spots, or lesions, that cause intense pain. Sometimes these lesions are filled in naturally, and sometimes they require medical assistance.

Benjamin and his family now maintain his condition through regular visits to Duke Children’s. Benjamin is now 11 and, despite his illness, is an active and healthy child. He is a Cub Scout, loves to do science experiments, and is a stalwart guardian of his pet chickens. His best friend is his older sister, Colette, and together they give back to the community, volunteering every other week at a local nursing home.

Benjamin and his family also love giving back to Duke Children’s. When asked why, Benjamin said: “I can’t change that I have this disease, but by helping raise funds for other kids it is like God is giving me a do-over. I can make it better for other kids.” Duke Children’s could not achieve its mission of providing world-class care without the generosity of individuals like Benjamin, and without the help of people like you. Thank you for supporting Duke Children’s!