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Wishbone Day raises awareness at Steenrod

Updated: Tuesday, May 6 2014, 06:29 PM EDT

WHEELING, W.Va.--

Steenrod Elementary School kindergartner Merrick Graves is dealing with a rare disorder that causes his bones to be brittle, and his family is working to spread the word about the condition.

It must seem as if 6-year old Graves has spent a lifetime in doctors offices after breaking 52 bones and having five major surgeries.

It's all due to a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta. Merrick's mother Lara Graves says he is a happy kid and she wanted Tuesday to be special.

Tuesday is Wishbone Day and the students and teachers were givenT-shirts meant to raise awareness of kids who suffer from the condition.

"By creating awareness we help others understand the condition and understand what families go through," said Lara Graves.

Dr. Dante Marra is an orthopedic surgeon at Ohio Valley Medical Center. He normally doesn't specialize in kids, but is helping Merrick through his battle.

"It's a hereditary condition and it is serious, but they go on to adulthood and live relatively normal lives," said Marra.

Marra explained the condition to the students and also treated their stuffed animals, bandaging them, for broken bones. X-rays of broken bones were shown to the students to help them relate.

Graves says her son has adjusted to the disorder and has a positive attitude. She also says Ohio County Schools have been there for support.


She says she wants Merrick to live life to the fullest.

"He will break a bone and he will be in school the next day and the other kids will ask what happened -- And Merrick will say 'I broke my leg and they say 'OK let's go play.' He's just one of the kids," said Graves.

For more on the effort to bring awareness to OI, visit wishboneday.com.

Wishbone Day raises awareness at Steenrod


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