A special dog for a special 2-year old Stillwater boy

Wednesday, November 17th 2004, 3:21 pm
By: News On 6

Progeria is a disease that causes the body to age prematurely. Very few children in the country suffer from this. Yet, a 2-year-old Stillwater boy and his family are battling this disease, full of hope.

News on 6 reporter Kirsten McIntyre has the touching story of Zachary Moore.

At 2 years old, Zachary Moore has seen more doctors than most of us see in a lifetime. He was just two months old when his parents noticed something wasn't right. Zachary’s mother, Molly Moore: “His pediatrican saw the tightness in his skin and his legs weren't straightening his joints weren't forming correctly.”

Zachary is one of only 7 children in the United States with Progeria, a premature aging disease. Already, he suffers from arthritis. He weighs only 10 pounds. “The normal Progeria life expectancy is about thirteen years and the disease normally shows itself around 2-3 years of age and his started at eight weeks old. So they're thinking Zachery's strain of this disease is one they haven't seen before and is more progessive so they can't really tell us how long we have.”

Yet, the "unknown" doesn't bother Keith and Molly. They believe Zachary is here for a reason. Zachary’s father Keith Moore: “I've learned so much from having Zachary it's taught me to be a better man on earth to do god's work be a better parent it's changed my life it's all been for the better every minute has we never get down and out and dwell on negative things.”

Instead, Keith and Molly remain positive, trying to give Zachary the best life they can. Mentally, he's a normal 2-year-old boy, he's learning to talk and loves playing with his brother and sisters.

Yet because of his fragile body, he's physically limited, but help is on the way. Help from a woman his mom met on the Internet. Kate Morgan is four hours away from her home in Arkansas and she didn't make the trip alone.

Kate heads up Southwest Service Dogs. "It makes me cry when I see a dog working for someone the dog really loves it and the person really needs that assistance it's a rewarding thing to do.”

Kate and Molly are trying to figure out which dog is a match with Zachary's personality. Once Zachary makes his pick, the dog will become his best buddy. It will also go everywhere he goes, including his frequent trips to the doctor.

There may be hope for Zachary's future. When his sister, Heidi, was born 9 months ago, their parents saved her umbilical cord blood. Fortunately, she's a perfect match with Zachary. There may be a possibility of a stem cell transplant, but more research must be done. It's not know whether this would make a difference in his condition.

If you would like to help Zachary or his new friend, here are two ways you can help...

Zachary Moore Trust
601 S Washington #119
Stillwater, OK 74074

Southwest Service Dogs
PO Box 158
Clarksville, AR 72830

When you send your contribution, please mark it as being for Zachary Moore's dog.