Nash has a rare neuromuscular disease known as SMARD or spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress. This condition has no cure.
Brittany Stineman was given the one piece of news by doctors that no parent would want to hear—that her son wouldn't make it to see his second birthday. Every day, miracles happen; Brittany and the whole town threw a birthday parade to celebrate little Nash turning three, reports CNN. Nash has a rare neuromuscular disease known as SMARD or spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress. This condition has no cure, and it basically causes muscular weakness and a sudden inability to breathe in infants. This also means that he has a very weak immune system, so he can't be around other people.
So, Nash can't really have a typical birthday, one that you and I are used to where our friends come home to celebrate and then cut a cake, play a few games, eat some good food, and go home. However, turning three was a big deal for Nash, so the whole community decided to celebrate it with him in a way that wouldn't really harm him. They decided to throw a parade on Sunday, which was the eve of his birthday, to celebrate the occasion.
"The one missing piece of his life has been social interaction," Stineman told CNN. "He can't be around people that much, and yesterday, I felt like that missing piece was filled." To celebrate Nash, more than 100 trucks, jeeps, and cars of all kinds drove down the family's neighborhood street in a Chicago suburb for over an hour. However, there was a slight change from the usual. Instead of throwing out candy, they replaced it with banana pudding.
Of course, there's a reason behind this. Banana pudding is the only food Nash eats by mouth because he gets intravenous nutrition. Stineman said it was quite surreal as to how many people actually wanted to celebrate her son's birthday. "Nash's story is the reason we have so much community support," she said. "Yesterday was just proof of how much of an impact he has made through his horrible journey."
Nash was diagnosed with SMARD when he was just 11-months-old. The doctors informed his parents that he likely wouldn't live past the age of 2. Exactly how many people have this condition is unknown, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. "He was in the hospital for seven months," Stineman said. "I didn't understand any of it the day of the diagnosis."
To change that, Stineman got in touch with researchers and ended up starting her own nonprofit called Smash SMARD. The organization works to find effective treatments for kids like Nash. Since February, it has raised more than $2 million. The parade for little Nash was a sign that there is so much support for her family, and she is optimistic about what is to come. "It was a magical day," Stineman said. "It just made me feel so much more hopeful about what the next year could bring."