SULPHUR, Okla. – An Oklahoma child who is battling a rare disease is now getting support from an unlikely source.
In 2017, News 4 introduced you to Matthew Leming during our ‘Kids with Courage’ segment.
Matthew has a condition called neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that affects one in every 3,000 people. The hallmark of the disease are skin spots and benign tumors.
For Matthew, the tumors showed up when he was just 2 years old in his brain.
"I just cried for days” Lisa Leming , Matthew's mother, said. “I didn't know what to do with myself, and I didn't hold myself together until I gave it to God."
Pediatric oncologist Dr. Rene Mcnall-Knapp said the tumors threatened Matthew's vision and pressured his pituitary gland. That launched precocious puberty in Matthew at the young age of 3 years old. He now takes hormones to hold puberty at bay.
Now, the tumors are smaller and no longer squeezing his optic nerve.
“The optic nerve looks much better. It looks normal here,” McNall-Knapp said.
Chemotherapy is putting the brakes on Matthew's tumors, and the low-dose of the drug is no match for Matthew's energy.
“He has more energy than any three adults I know,” McNall-Knapp said. “This doesn't seem to phase him much as far as energy level.”
Now, he's getting support from his hero.
David Moore, with the Seattle Seahawks, has chosen neurofibromatosis as his fundraising focus in the NFL's 'My Cause, My Cleats' campaign.
His shoes, which feature Matthew's picture on them, will be shown during Sunday's game against the 49ers.
Moore played football at East Central University.