“Gunnar’s big smile and even bigger heart, relentless determination to get up no matter how many times he falls, and refusal to let KIF1A keep him down make Gunnar unstoppable.”
A message from Gunnar’s family:
Gunnar’s first symptom of KIF1A was toe-walking along with problems with balance, coordination, and weakness. Gunnar was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy. Gunnar subsequently underwent genetic testing that revealed a mutation of his KIF1A gene.
Gunnar’s variant of his KIF1A gene causes him to suffer from Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP). The hallmark features of HSP are progressive weakness and spasticity. Gunnar recently underwent Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery which was successful in removing his spasticity. Gunnar has worked very hard to recover and rehabilitate after this surgery by going to physical therapy four to five days a week after school.
Gunnar likes Ghostbusters, Legos, video games, swimming, and playing outside with his two dogs, Roy and Winston. Gunnar is lucky to have The Ability Center local to us where he plays adaptive sports through their open gym program. Gunnar loves to play wheelchair basketball, sit volleyball, and recently was introduced to goalball. Gunnar looks forward to seeing his friends and staying active.
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KIF1A.ORG is dedicated to accelerating research to find a cure for superheroes like Gunnar. You can help. Treatment is within reach, but there are two obstacles in our way: time and money. Give today to empower KIF1A families to achieve our mission for this generation of KIF1A superheroes.