Cyrus was diagnosed with dermatomyositis in 2005 when he was almost 4 years old. Before his diagnosis, he had experienced many other challenges with his health not related to dermatomyositis, including premature birth at 26 weeks (6 months) gestation, developmental delay, kidney difficulties, strabismus and an airway hemangioma requiring tracheostomy and G-tube feedings. In 2004 Cyrus had his tracheostomy removed and G-tube shortly after.

His dermatomyositis went into remission for several years before relapsing in February 2013. For unknown reasons, he developed severe abdominal pain from increased pressure in his abdomen, requiring emergency surgery from which he did not recover. His rheumatologist, who specializes in dermatomyositis, has never seen a child with dermatomyositis have this medical problem. Cyrus was unique and special in many ways, and his combination of health issues make it very difficult to explain why he became so sick so quickly.

Always Smiling

My son was a unique child. Always smiling, always happy, he had a hug for everyone, even when meeting someone for the first time. Every morning the first thing Cyrus would say is "I'm happy today." I miss hearing this every morning. Cyrus never complained about anything and he was always concerned about others. If he saw a fellow student was sad he would give them a hug and make them laugh somehow. Every morning he would go into the school office and give everyone a hug. It is so hard to say anything about my son for there is too much to say.

He loved life! I was told by Officer Bob of the school, that one day Cyrus walked into the high school office and asked to see the high school principal. When Officer Bob asked why, Cyrus said "I have something to tell him." I understand Cyrus sat and talked to the high school principal for 20 minutes. All he wanted to do was meet him, I am assuming. Another story of Cyrus is when he was in the Peace patrol. It was recess time and he saw a kindergartner was in the street. He told an adult right away and he was called a Hero for saving this child's life. In the summer he would sit with our dog Fred in the back yard and spend long periods of time waving at people in their cars and talk to people walking by.

Cyrus never showed he was scared when he went to the doctors, even when he had to take all the tests he needed too. In fact the last few years he made the Lab people drawing his blood nervous for he would watch them every inch of the way. When he would be examined by a doctor he would make a game out of it and have everyone laughing and giggling in the room. He taught everyone he met how wonderful and special life could be, even if life tried to make things difficult. If his simple smile from a sick young man could touch so many peoples hearts, don't we owe it to ourselves and to him, to smile every chance we can and show the world how a 11yr old changed the world with just a simple smile?

Written by Cyrus’ Mother, Jamie Pater

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