Ride to benefit 4-year-old Opelika kid diagnosed with form of dwarfism

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 11:45 PM EDT
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SMITHS STATION, Ala. (WTVM) - A lot going on this weekend on both sides of the Chattahoochee River.

That includes the community gathering for a benefit ride for a four year old boy in Opelika diagnosed with a form of dwarfism. Funds raised will go towards his surgery next month.

Mason Yate’s father says they had to take him to specialists in Delaware to receive an official diagnosis. Although everyday may be painful for the four-year-old, his family says he still walks around with a big smile.

“How old are you?” Asks his father to which Mason responds, “Four.”

Before Mason Yates was born, doctors told his mother while she was 20 weeks pregnant with him, something was wrong.

“The long bones in the legs and arms weren’t measuring correct so they sent us to UAB in Birmingham,” said his father Bradley.

Shortly after, Mason was diagnosed with diastrophic dysplasia dwarfism -- a genetic condition causing severe sclerosis. Every day, the four-year-old wears an upper body cast and without it, his back hurts often.

“He can’t take a bath or play in the toe, he can’t go swimming with his cousins in the pool or at the lake,” said Mason’s Uncle, Reese White.

But next month, Mason and his parents will be going to Delaware where he’ll have surgery.

“They’re gonna put a ring around his head that’ll have pins. And it’ll get to I want to say they told us 90% of his body weight will be suspended by this halo,” said Bradley.

His father says recovery will take two months.

“They’re just trying to give his organs and stuff time to kind of settle back in place from where they crunched up,” said Bradley.

Doctors will also put a rod in his back to adjust the length of his body over the next several years.

Before heading upstate, Mason’s family will be holding a benefit ride Saturday raising money for surgery and travel while surrounded by Mason’s favorite joy, cars.

“Mustang, Mustang,” yelled Mason.

“Mason doesn’t know he’s different. He does not act (like) He’s different. He’s he’s just a little boy loves to ride anything with wheels and a motor,” said his uncle Reese.

Though scary, Mason’s family says he’s still a bundle of joy.

“Everybody loves Mason. You can’t help but love Mason,” said his uncle Reese.

That ride will be held at the Smiths Station Government Center. The address is 2336 County Road 430 Smiths Station, Alabama 36877. Registration will be from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m., when the ride will start.

People will meet at Smiths Station High School no later than 9 a.m. Eastern and gather at the Government Center. All cars of all types are welcome, costing $25 for each vehicle.

$5 raffle tickets will also be sold. Sack lunches and drinks will be provided and there will be a bouncy house for kids.

To donate, click here.