ELYRIA — A 12-year-old Elyria boy will be in the spotlight this evening — an honoree at the HeartThrob Ball hosted by the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.
Remington Feller, son of Pam and Jeff Squires, will be one of three recipients of a Courage Award, nominated by his medical team for his continued determination to stay active and keep walking.
In 2005, when Remington was a kindergartner, he began falling down and tripping over steps. Doctors call it “ragdolling,’’ a symptom of what later was determined to be Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The rare genetic disease, which mainly affects boys, causes muscle deterioration and the loss of mobility.
At that point, doctors believed Remington would be paralyzed by the time he reached age 9.
Remington, however, had other plans.
“He is a little pistol,’’ said Pam Squires of her son, who was named after the famous rifle.
“He is determined to prove everyone wrong and keep walking. If anyone can do it, it’s this guy. He has a lot of determination. He wants to force his body to do what they said he couldn’t do.’’
Remington is now recuperating from spinal fusion surgery, in which 26 screws were inserted into his back.
He receives steroids and physical therapy three times per week to keep as fit as possible with the hope that new therapies will be discovered that will prolong his mobility.
“We take an active role in his treatment … to keep him walking,’’ Squires said. “We’ve got a great support group of adults and children that come over to work with him and keep his spirits up. And there have been so many people that just want to help.’’
To that end, for the past several years, the Elyria Country Inn & Suites has donated pool time during the winter months so that Remington can continue water therapy.
And in honor of his big night Friday, Commodore Tuxedo donated his tuxedo, and Lisa Mullins of Creative Memories Photography is donating a portrait sitting to commemorate his special day.
Remington, who loves to play baseball in the swimming pool to stay strong, is an honor student entering seventh grade at Northwood Junior High School this fall. He hopes to become a pathologist in the future.
“I like to study and work on the Internet,” Remington said.
The ball is be at Renaissance Cleveland Hotel and will feature special guests including Umberto Fedeli as honorary chairman and musical performer Kenny Loggins. The event will be hosted by WJW’s Stefani Schaefer.
To purchase tickets to tonight’s event, call (216) 448-1220.