Seizure treatment boy’s biggest hope

Andrew Dawson, 10, playing with his friend, Reese Loughrige, 9, has an undiagnosed seizure disorder that is especially triggered by light. He is most susceptible to the diffused light of a bright overcast sky, and sunglasses can help. Enlarge photo

Dawn Madura/The Coloradoan

Andrew Dawson, 10, playing with his friend, Reese Loughrige, 9, has an undiagnosed seizure disorder that is especially triggered by light. He is most susceptible to the diffused light of a bright overcast sky, and sunglasses can help.

FORT COLLINS (AP) – Andrew Dawson is a 10-year-old family man.

He loves playing with his year-old cocker spaniel, Gavon. He’s a genius with a spatula and loves creating new recipes. He’s a quiet joker who gives his family joy with the sly things he says in the most unexpected moments.

Most moments are unexpected.

Andrew, or “Drew,” has been suffering from hundreds of myoclonic seizures every day since he was 18 months old. He has severe sensory issues, apraxia and an auditory processing disorder.

In short, “Andrew knows what he wants to say or do, but his body won’t permit him to do it,” explained his mother, Becky Dawson.

Andrew’s jokes are some of his greatest gifts in an ever-tiring cycle of care and concern.

“It’s usually just a subtle thing about food or something, but it’s absolutely hilarious,” Dawson said. “With a child who has problems with speech or communicating, those little things come out and it brings you joy.

“There’s no sleeping at night when you have a child with seizures. We have to stop this cycle.”

His seizure disorder remains undiagnosed, with alternative therapies and biomedical treatments – uncovered by insurance – the family’s only option to provide some form of healing and relief. With the family’s medical costs growing and pushing them further into debt, to “stop the suffering” the Dawsons joined Community Funded, a local fundraising site, as a “Neighbor in Need” four months ago.

Donors can choose from a variety of “gift backs” in return for a donation. On Andrew’s project, gift backs include the “Everything-Free Cookbook,” a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and sodium-free collection of recipes created by the little chef, a collection of locally donated artwork, finger-knitted creations by his little sister and a variety of other donated goods.

“Neighbor in Need is designed for anyone who wants to raise money,” said Community Funded co-founder McCabe Callahan. “I’ve known Scott, Becky’s husband, for years. As I kept hearing about his financial struggles, I told him about the project.”

The family’s goal is to raise $20,000 to help bring the family out of medical debt and fund more treatments and therapies for Andrew.

“We want Andrew to have the highest quality of life that he possibly can,” Dawson said. “We want to alleviate the suffering for him. He’s a bright, happy, funny little boy who loves to giggle.”