HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Born in Mechanicville to a tight-knit family, 12-year-old Christian Nash radiates positive energy.
His mother Hannah Marks said her son can make anyone smile.
"He has the best sense of humor and his laugh like lights up any room he’s in," she said.
On top of making others laugh, the 12-year-old said he really enjoys playing video games and sports.
"Before I was sick, I like to play flag football," Christian said.
He especially enjoys playing with his older brother, Nicholas, and his mother said the pair are "very, very close."
"He’s just really fun to be around, I couldn't ask for a better brother," Nicholas said.
Marks said her son's ability to light up the life of anyone he meets has not changed despite several devastating diagnoses that began three years ago.
The family was on a trip to Myrtle Beach when the then nine-year-old contracted an infection in his ear.
"When I saw it I immediately knew something was wrong," Marks recalled. "It's called pseudomonas."
She said none of the prescribed medication worked.
"It was very persistent, it’s kind of like a smart bacteria, it like learns the antibiotics," Marks described. "He ended up having to go to the hospital and get a PICC line in because the drop or antibiotics, nothing was helping, and it kept getting worse and worse."
From there things continued to spiral and Christian developed a drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms, also referred to as D.R.E.S.S syndrome.
"It’s just like a reaction you can have and it... opened the floodgates for a lot of other things," Marks explained. "Since being diagnosed with D.R.E.S.S he’s developed narcolepsy, cataplexy, moderate restrictive lung disease, toxic muscle disease, adrenaline insufficiency, growth hormone deficiency."
After months in the hospital and undergoing several surgeries, Christian now has to use a wheelchair.
"Seven different vertebrae have compression fractures right now, so he’s got a back brace he has to wear daily," Marks said.
Despite living daily with pain, Marks said her son lives to bring joy every day.
"He’s on a lot of medications to try and help," Marks said. "He amazes me at the optimism he has through everything."
In fact, the child has even written a book in hopes of helping other children going through similar situations.
"I just keep moving on to the next day," Christian said.
With the shift in their lives comes an adjustment to a new norm. The family is unable to transport his 400-pound power chair, limiting the places Christian can go.
"He wants the independence of being able to use his power chair and get around but right now we don't have the vehicle to do that," Marks said. "Right now we’re currently shoving it into the vehicle, disassembling, assembling anytime we go anywhere, he’s outgrown it."
So his great grandmother reached out to CBS 6 hoping the community may be able to help in getting them a vehicle that could transport the chair.
Christian said having a wheelchair-accessible van would make him "really happy."
"That would just be the biggest blessing, relief," his mother said. "I would be thrilled beyond words that he could have that life he wants to have as a kid."
If you or someone you know is able to help, email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also donate through the family's GoFundMe or Venmo: Hannah-Marks09
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