Tanner’s story happened a little later in life. At first we thought he was clumsy, sports was not his thing, he had a unique gait. It wasn’t until middle school that he was diagnosed with a genetic neuropathic disorder called CMT. This is a degenerative disorder that affects about 150,000 kids in the US. There is no cure, yet through surgery we have been able to delay some of the lack of mobility.
It amazes us how Tanner is so confident in understanding his limitations yet, never makes excuses. When asked why he walks a certain way or why he can’t do some physical activities he will say, I was born with it but I can do this instead.
Tanner is graduating high school this year. He continues to lose mobility. Yet, he has applied to college and has been accepted into the U of A. Each year may bring him additional physical challenges that he gracefully overcomes with his mental perseverance. I know he will continue to be strong and be an inspiration to many with CMT.
Charcot (shahr-KOH)-Marie-Tooth disease is a group of inherited disorders that cause nerve damage. This damage is mostly in the arms and legs (peripheral nerves). Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is also called hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease results in smaller, weaker muscles. You may also experience loss of sensation and muscle contractions, and difficulty walking. Foot deformities such as hammertoes and high arches also are common. Symptoms usually begin in the feet and legs, but they may eventually affect your hands and arms.
Symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease typically appear in adolescence or early adulthood, but may also develop in midlife.