“Her bones are weak and she has broken several bones in her little body”
Shortly after she was born Autumn’s parents were informed that their precious newborn had a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a fairly common genetic disorder characterized by changes in skin coloring (pigmentation) and the growth of tumors along nerves in the skin, brain, and other parts of the body. While neurofibromatosis tumors are often benign, sometimes they can become malignant (cancerous). Complications can include hearing loss, learning difficulties, cardiovascular problems, vision loss and severe pain.
After that diagnosis, Autumn began to develop telltale NF1 brown spots on her skin which are flat patches on the skin that are darker than the surrounding area. These spots increase in size and number as the child grows older. The first indication tumors were affecting Autumn was when she developed optic glioma on the optic nerve of her eyes. The next indication that the neurofibromatosis was taking even more of a toll was when she was diagnosed with learning disabilities in school. And now, she is being watched for scolosis (curvature of the spine), yet another condition often experienced by NF1.
Neurofibramatosis also causes bones to be weak so it was no surprise that this little girl has broken several bones over the years, among them her arms, femur, wrist and thumb. She also has 50 spots that are being watched through MRIs to make sure they aren’t growing or becoming cancerous.
There is no cure for NF1; patients with neurofibromatosis like Autumn are followed by a team of specialists to manage symptoms or complications. Autumn has taken her various medical challenges in stride and is proving to be a very kind-hearted child who thinks it would be really cool to catch a home run ball at a baseball game and have it signed by a team member of the Atlanta Braves.
Kids Wish Network is hard at work planning a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Autumn; check back later for more details about her wish experience!