Hundreds of red balloons decorated the cafeteria recently to celebrate the birthday of Case Hogan, a 4-year old boy diagnosed with a rare disease called Hunter syndrome. While only a couple of people on Bryan campus have ever met Case, hundreds of students signed his massive card—writing notes and drawing pictures.
Red balloons cover the cafeteria recently to celebrate
Case Hogan’s fourth birthday.
Triangle photo by Kaity Kopeski.
Junior Nicole Thomas plans to deliver the card to Case for his birthday on March 12. Thomas attends Christ Fellowship (Nashville, Tenn.) with the Hogan family and has known Case since he was born.
“He is a sweet little boy who is full of life and energy,” said Thomas. “I really wish that everyone here could meet him; he is truly a joy to be around.”
The junior class SGA decided to “adopt” Case after Thomas gave a presentation about his condition in a communications class.
“My class is kind of known for their apathy, and they wanted to do something good with their resources,” she said.
Red T-shirts and bracelets are available for students to purchase. All the money raised goes to help the Hogan family with expensive treatments and to help find a cure for the disease.
Senior Bethany Diamond was one of
many students who signed Case’s birthday card.
Triangle photo by Kaity Kopeski
Hunter syndrome mainly affects male children both physically and mentally. Children with Hunter syndrome are missing a crucial enzyme—iduronate-2-sulfatse. The disease is severe, regressive and life shortening. Symptoms of the disease are different with each patient.
Melissa Hogan, Case’s mother, writes on her blog that Case “falls a lot, has difficulty with his joints, has unexplained diarrhea, chokes easily and breathes loudly.” All these symptoms are part of his condition. Case is receiving two different treatments to help ease his symptoms.
The first is an enzyme replacement therapy (ELAPRASE®), and the second is a clinical trial where Case received a port into his spinal column to hopefully stop the brain decline. Hogan writes that the family has already seen improvements, and they will return to the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, every month over the next year to continue treatment. Along with raising awareness and donating money, Thomas said the most helpful thing the student body can do is pray. “He’s a great kid that’s having to deal with a terrible disease.”