3-Year-Old with Rare Disorder Hopes to Win "Local Heroes" Contest

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

A little boy from Marquez, who was born with one of the rarest chromosomal disorders in the world, needs your help.

3-year-old James Menger was diagnosed with ATR-X Syndrome, so he's mentally disabled and he may be in a wheel chair for the rest of his life.

His parents entered him into a contest looking for "Local Heroes", because the grand prize is a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

Ana-Alisha Menger, James' mother, describes her son as sweet and always smiling, even though life has been extremely hard for him.

"He's a little boy, he's 3 years old. He wants to go outside and play, but his body doesn't allow him to," said Ana-Alisha. "Kids are, I don't know, unstoppable, invincible, they're amazing...and my son is one of those kids."

Doctors say ATR-X Syndrome only affects about 200 people in the world. James spent the first seven months of his life in the hospital, and he's already undergone four major surgeries. James is also hearing impaired.

"Most of these kids with ATR-X syndrome are lucky to be born and when they're born, they're lucky to live to age 5," said Ana-Alisha.

James can't walk, talk, or even eat on his own. He goes to therapy in Huntsville twice a week, and he's constantly seeing his pediatrician and ENT in College Station.

"You would do the same thing for your kid. You just do it, because that's the hand of cards that you were dealt," said James Menger Sr., James' father.

The Menger's problem is their car is too small to fit James' wheel chair, so they have to borrow a relative's SUV several times a week.

That's why they decided to share their son's story of perseverance, in hopes of him winning the "Local Heroes" contest in honor of National Mobility Awareness month.

The family says winning a wheelchair accessible car would be life changing for them.

"You want your kids to do anything and everything that they possibly can. And that's up to us to do that for him," said James' mother.

The Mengers are asking for the community's support and votes.

Voting for the contest ends on Friday, so you only have a few days left to vote for James.

If you would like to help this Brazos Valley family, you can find a link to the "Local Heroes" contest below.

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