MDA Helps Child Build Dreams
"Right now, he wants to be a Lego designer," said his dad, Jeff.
"You don't really jump up and run with Legos," added Joe's mother, Lixing. "It really fits his need."
Joe can walk from room to room, but much like his Legos' storage shelf, he needs support to stand for a long time.
"His condition is very rare," said Lixing. "The scientific term is called 'centronuclear myopathy.'"
Or, as Joe put it, "In my cells, my nucleus isn't working properly."
His father explained, "His condition is such that, the more he works out, the more he'll get stronger, so we need to keep working at it. If he keeps at it, he'll be able to function."
So, Jeff works out everyday with Joe, who functioned well this year at MDA summer camp.
"I thought it might be fun, and it was my first camp," said Joe.
"I thought he would be like scared, but he just made his mind," said Lixing.
That determination keeps Joe moving, along with MDA paying for his physical therapy.
"I would like to say 'thanks for the money' because if they haven't given it to them, I wouldn't have better balance," he said.
But Joe's Lego habit costs money, too.
"My husband came up with the idea to give him money every time he exercises," Lixing explained. "He has been saving his money to buy his dream Lego sets."
Master craftsman Joe Reneker is halfway to his big goal, but he's already established a firm foundation to build bigger dreams in the future.
You can call in a pledge during KOMU's coverage of the annual MDA Telethon starting this Sunday night.