CHAMPION TEAMMATE: Jeni Raymond
CHAMPION HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Regents School of Austin Football
After his eyes became shaky at three months old, Jeremy’s eyes stopped tracking movement one month later. Doctors in Houston and at the Cleveland Clinic weren’t successful in finding any type of diagnosis but warned his parents that he was quickly deteriorating and most likely would not live past one year.
At nine months, he had stopped smiling altogether and either slept or cried nonstop. A CT scan presented Jeremy with a craniosynostosis diagnosis. This is a birth defect that causes all of the skull plates to fuse together, preventing the skull from expanding to accommodate brain growth. Jeremy underwent surgery to relieve the cranial pressure at 13 months old, and his vision returned but his muscles remained extremely weak.
Doctors in Dallas, at the National Institutes of Health and Duke University guess that Jeremy has an endocrine disease because of the involvement of both bone and muscle. His condition causes his muscles to be so weak that he cannot walk, talk, sit or lift his head for long periods of time. He has constant headaches, nausea, neck and joint pain. Jeremy has had more than 40 surgeries, including five major skull surgeries, two heart surgeries and eight on his eyes.
He taught himself to read and write, a huge surprise to his family. He works extremely hard at daily exercises to strengthen his muscles and is working hard to find an easier way to communicate with everyone around him.
The Regents School of Austin football team is excited to have Jeremy hop on board this season as their newest honorary teammate. His favorite quote is “Believe in yourself.”