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Brandon, 5, leaves rickets in the dust; SCHOOLBOY SPRINTER COMPLETES HIS FIRST RACE.

Byline: CHERYL MULLIN Deputy Print Editor cheryl.mullin@trinitymirror.com @cezmullin

A SCHOOLBOY wowed his family and friends after completing his first sprint race following a new treatment for rickets.

Brandon Dunn had struggled with simple tasks such as walking to school due to the condition, which he was diagnosed with at just two years old.

Now five, the Skelmersdale youngster underwent a pioneering treatment for the condition which, due to low levels of phosphate in the blood, leads to poorly formed bones and bone deformities including bow legs.

The condition can also cause bone pain, short stature and sometimes tooth abscesses.

Mum Donna Dunn, who also suffers from the rare genetic condition, said: "I first noticed problems with Brandon's legs when he started walking. By three, the bones had started to bend.

"Brandon underwent more than five hours of surgery, which involved breaking the bones in multiple places and straightening the legs with splints.

"He was in a wheelchair for 12 weeks.

"When he started walking again, he still struggled to bend his knees as he related the movement to pain."

Brandon found it difficult to take his phosphate medication due to the taste, even when his mum and dad tried to disguise it with juice. He needs to take his medication four times a day for it to be effective - and a special vitamin D preparations on a regular basis.

It was the family's only option until they were offered the chance to take part in the trial of a new type of treatment in April. The treatment involves fortnightly injections of a new disease specific antibody, which binds to the excessive chemical in the blood (FGF23), reducing phosphate loss Just months later, Brandon completed his first ever race and received a school star award for his efforts.

Donna said: "Brandon has never been able to fully participate in PE lessons with his friends before, let alone finish a race.

"Since starting on the new therapy, he is a lot more active and happy, suffers much less from tiredness and bone pain.

"He ran the whole 80 metres. He wasn't the fastest, but he wasn't that far behind.

"I was so proud!" Brandon's younger brother Tyler has the same condition and has also been treated with the injections.

Donna is hopeful the boys will have an improved future with a reduction in long-term pain as a result of the treatment.

She said: "I really wish this treatment had been available when I was younger. The only treatment available for me was phosphate, which made me physically sick.

"I still can't cross my legs. If I've been on my feet all day my legs just give way.

"I'm always twisting my ankles, which means I end up walking on crutches."

Donna added: "It's so great to see the boys now running about, climbing on furniture and keeping up with their classmates."

Alder Hey is one of the first children's hospitals in the country to trial the new treatment.

CAPTION(S):

Brandon Dunn, five, has taken part in his first sprint race afte being treated for rickets at Alder Hey Hospital (right)

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 26, 2018
Words:522
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