Diego Melendez feels like a normal third-grader. But what sets the 9-year old apart from his friends and classmates is Parry-Romberg Syndrome, a rare disease that causes tissues beneath the skin to shrink and degenerate. His parents had no idea he had the disease until it manifested when he was two years old.
After noticing redness on his face, they took him to the doctor. Slowly the left side of his face began to sink. The situation encouraged the family to leave their native Puerto Rico and move to Florida.
The brave young man chooses to remain positive and strong despite cruel jokes or ruthless chants. Diego has always chosen to look at the brighter side of things. He is determined to live his life to the fullest. He still continues to engage in the activities that he enjoys.
Diego’s bone and tissue atrophy are quite severe so he will likely have to undergo a few surgeries; he will need bone reconstruction as well as the free-flap tissue transplant. The community church has assisted Diego and his family by helping to raise money for the surgeries.
In one of his first surgeries, tissues were removed from his back and injected into his face. Diego and his family seem happy with the outcome.
This kid has a huge heart and is filled with fortitude.
I kind of get the feeling that everything will be alright with Diego!
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