Lexington boy fighting rare disease gets Disney World trip

BURLINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A Lexington boy got a special surprise Sunday, at a fundraiser to help fight his rare disease.

Liam Ryan, 5, found out he’s going to Disney World this October through Make-A-Wish of Massachusetts and Rhode Island at the second annual Bowl2CureJM event in Burlington, which raises money for research of Juvenile Myositis.

Liam was diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disease, also known as J-M and which affects 1 in 500,000 children, in 2018. The disease turns a child’s immune system against healthy, functioning organs.

“He went from full-speed active child to not being able to lift up his head,” said Luke Ryan, Liam’s father.

“It was really scary,” said Liz Ryan, Liam’s mother. “He couldn’t move his head … he would say, ‘Mommy, Daddy move my head.'”

Liam has undergone treatment, including infusions and steroids that caused him to gain weight. But they’ve also improved his quality of life.

“Now he’s running around, playing with his friends,” Liz Ryan said.

There’s no cure for J-M, but since Liam’s diagnosis, his family has been raising awareness about the disease and funds to fight it through the Bowl2CureJM events.

(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)