As summer fades and temperature cools the start of a new school year can be quite the endeavor for a blossoming seven-year-old boy. Keric Boyd discovered himself in this circumstance as he entered the first grade at a Missouri elementary school this fall with a backpack overflowing with the anticipation of a successful school year alongside his fellow classmates and close friends.
Unlike the rest of the school's students, Keric battles a horrific disease known as Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). When Keric was born, he was missing skin from his foot and lower leg. It was later diagnosed that Keric had EB and lacked a protein that anchored his skin together, causing it to lift and blister with any minor bump or fall, bringing forth an immense discomfort comparable to the pain of a second-degree burn.
The dreadful disease permeating within Keric is seldom revealed through his spirits but instead revealed by the wrapping he must wear around his skin. Each day gauze is wrapped around his body to prevent infection and reduce blisters. Applying the wrapping around his fragile skin is tedious and breaks the hearts of his parents everyday as they perform the agonizing task.
The Boyd family nurtures a loving alliance and pledge to do anything for one another. So when the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital research team determined that a bone marrow transplant could possibly cure EB, Keric's older sister, Kendall, valiantly volunteered herself as a donor.
A year has passed since the success of the bone marrow transplant and Keric's skin is remarkably stronger. For the first time since he was an infant, he can leave some of his skin unwrapped. The carefree act to simply clap hands is now possible without bringing harrowing distress. Keric suffers less pain and is substantially more active on the playground. For better or worse, he is keen to play without wrappings on his hands, resulting in the occasional blister swelling along the length of his thumb.
Keric's battle with EB and recent journey into a new school year has been made easier with the bone marrow transplant, but even more so due to his best friend and big brother, Kacey. Each morning they scamper off to the school bus stop whimsically enjoying their special brotherhood friendship. Their mom, Krista, notices the brothers' fruitful bond and explain how the two routinely come home booming with excitement, declaring the very best part of their day was running into one another.
Outside of the colorful school hallways Keric plays the important role as his big brother's number one football fan, wildly cheering from the sideline at every game. When taking a detour from his brother's footsteps, Keric takes pleasure in contributing with work around the house. He recently helped his mom remodel the kitchen by priming the walls with paint. It is remarkable the abundance of support Keric lovingly provides his family.
Up to this point, Keric's fight against EB hasn't thwarted the glowing smile and charming energy that radiates from him wherever he goes, which most of the time is chasing his older brother around the house. His brother doesn't mind though, because everyday he and the rest of the Boyd family witness Keric's bravery and strong essence of character, knowing it will always illuminate their family with hope and love.