Five-year-old boy who suffers from rare brain condition takes his first steps

Photos: Facebook
Photos: Facebook 

A child taken their first steps is a special moment for any parents - but it was extra sweet for this family.

Camden Hanson suffers from a debilitating brain condition called progressive Cerebellar Atrophy, which affects his ability to move. So when the five-year-old took his first steps over the weekend, his proud mother Mandy Hanson couldn't wait to share it.

She uploaded the video to Twitter, where it has received over 411,000 likes, been retweeted over 39,000 times and has viewed over 7.5 million times.

"Since we all could use a little happiness in our lives these days: My youngest son (age 5) has progressive cerebellar atrophy and is physically handicapped," Ms Hanson captioned the video.

"He also has 10 therapies a week. Today, he finally took independent steps!!" she wrote, using the hashtags #MyHero and #NeverGiveUp.

Ms Hanson spoke to Today, saying Camden was developing normally until he was around 18 months of age, when his parents started noticing developmental delays.

"After pursuing many possibilities for the cause, we then visited a local neurologist who conducted an MRI," she said, "and that is where we saw the Cerebellar Atrophy."

Camden's condition is so rare, it's possible he's the only person in the world with it. Doctors are unable to pinpoint a gene that causes the condition.

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The cerebellum is the part of the brain that affects movements such as posture, balance, coordination and speech, meaning the Camden has had to work especially hard, with intense physical, speech and occupational therapy.

Ms Hanson said until two years ago he was unable to speak and says her son's determination and hard work at speech therapy is seeing him improve every day.

Despite having some setbacks, Ms Hanson says her son is "just like every other five-year-old". He loves video games, super heroes and playing with Lego and toy cars.

The Hanson family says the always smiling Camden has taught them about being "patient and compassionate" more than "anyone or anything ever could".

Ms Hanson said they hope her son's story will spread a message of "hope and inclusion", especially to families around the world who may are struggling with the challenges of raising a special needs child.