ELKHORN, Neb. (KMTV) — What started as a family gathering that was planned last year, turned into a celebration Saturday for a little boy and his family who are racing to make the most of the time they have together.
Wyatt Beiermann is seven years old and has been through a lot the past couple of years--losing his vision, balance and energy to a disease that's incurable. Only one in 4,000 are affected by Mitochondrial disease.
"People don't know what it is, and neither did we until our son was diagnosed with it," Kim Beiermann said.
Wyatt is losing his vision. Wyatt's mother, Kim, and his father, Doug, say that's been the hardest part of raising a child.
Soon, the Beiermann's will have to start paying medical bills as Wyatt continues to lose his ability to walk to a disease that could claim more of his body, including his organs.
"He takes a mitochondrial cocktail that insurance does not cover," Kim said. "Every 14 days, we get new medicine and vitamins that Wyatt has to take to help him because there is no cure and there is no medicine for his disease."
But this Saturday was therapy in the form of food and the family and friends that are supporting Wyatt through his journey. The Beiermann family business off 204th and West Dodge Road in Elkhorn is the site of a rally to raise money, helping Wyatt. Food and raffles brought in hundreds to help out and visit the family.
"The main reason for this is to see all our friends in this journey," Kim said. "The money is second, but we're hoping to take Wyatt to places while he can go."
The family visited Breckenridge, Colorado last October to show Wyatt a view of the mountains. Kim and Doug hope to continue making the most out of the time they have for now with another trip.
"I want Wyatt to be able to feel and see the ocean while he still can and enjoy it with his little sister," Kim said. "It'll be a good thing for our family to just get away and be ourselves without thinking about the disease, even though it never really goes away. Sometimes you can escape for a little bit."
The Make-A-Wish foundation surprised Wyatt's family Saturday. Later this year, he'll get the see the ocean at Cocoa Beach, Florida.
To learn more about Wyatt's journey and to donate, visit WyattsWEB.org