Derby boy fighting rare disease receives Helping Hand
Fighting a rare disease can be lonely. 12 year old Wyatt Wright from Derby has a rare disease, but instead of being lonely, he's reaching out to help other kids fighting diseases of their own.
He's doing that, in part, by gathering thousands of pairs of warm socks and slippers. Footwear with personality.
We caught up with him and his mom Candace who were delivering some of the 4,000 pair they collected and delivered to Wesley Children's Hospital.
It's their second delivery, The first had 3,000 pair, each meant to brighten the day of a child stuck in the hospital. He even hand delivers some.
"You can have the dinosaur, the ninja turtles or these, when you walk, they light up," said Wyatt to a little boy sitting in a hospital bed.
He knows what it's like to be attached to a hospital bed.
"I hope you get feeling better. Hopefully those are better than the black and brown ones so you don't have to walk around the hall in those," said Wyatt.
When Wyatt was eight-year-old, doctors diagnosed him with Schleroderma, a disease that slowly causes your skin to lose its elasticity, essentially turning your body to stone.
He now takes 15 pills a day and gets weekly chemo. He's currently one of about 300,000 Americans currently fighting the disease. Instead of fighting quietly, he and his mom are trying to help others.
"We kind of live by a saying of turn every negative into a positive, so we take every day to make sure we turn it into a positive if it starts on a negative. It's kind of our way of dealing with such a harsh diagnosis," said Candace Wright
Wyatt and his family started a non-profit called the Wyatt The Warrior Foundation.
It's through that foundation they give the socks and slippers.
They also scholarship families who are new to this and other auto-immune diseases, by helping them pay for medical expenses, treatment related travel expenses - really whatever it takes to get other kids the medical treatment they need.
That includes paying to get families to the national Schleroderma conference.
"Being able to help those families get to the appointments they need, that's a blessing," said Candace Wright.
Because of their unselfishness, Eyewitness News and DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers surprised them with a $1,200 Helping Hand to go towards their foundation.
"Thank you. Wow. Thank you," said Candace. "That means a lot. We're in the process of scholarshiping families right now, and that will help us get another family to the national conference in Chicago this year. So thank you. Thank you."
Candace and Wyatt got to meet Dustin DeVaughn to receive their check.
"Thank you so much for the great things you're doing for our community and we want to give you a helping hand and a check for $1,200," said Dustin. "Thank you," said Wyatt. "You bet."
"We'd like to thank you guys for giving us this opportunity to help other children that are battling Schleroderma and auto-immune diseases in our areas, so thank you so much," said Candace Wright.
To learn more about the Wyatt The Warrior Foundation, click
To learn more about Schleroderma, click