© Jocelyn Turner
Jessie-Lynn Hicks (left) helps her younger brother Michael Noiles do some of his stretches. Noiles has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects the muscles in his arms and legs.
Amherst Daily News
AMHERST – No child wants to stand on the sidelines while their friends get to play sports. For Michael Noiles, that’s just what he’s had to do.
“He can’t play hockey, his ankles aren’t strong enough for hockey but he does play baseball,” said his father Mike Noiles. “He loves the sports so much and he can’t participate like he wants to, that’s hard on me.”
Michael was recently diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; a hereditary disease affects the nerves outside the brain and spine. Because of the disorder, the Noiles family will be starting to make regular visits to the Shriner’s Hospital in Montreal, as well as trips to Halifax.
“We went June 1. This time, we have to go back to talk about Botox injections in his hamstrings,” said Noiles. “It’ll last about three to six months until he’s fully grown, and then they are going to operate to stretch his hamstrings manually.”
To cope with the pain, the youngest Noiles goes through physiotherapy as well as stretches when he’s at home.
“It’s the stiffness that bothers him,” said his father. “Right now, it’s his arms and his. His hamstrings are so tight it’s starting to affect his back. He goes to physiotherapy to keep the muscles that he does have because it’s not going to get any better.”
The Shriner’s help cover most of their traveling expenses but, in order to cover the rest, Noiles turned to his friends on Facebook, asking for their empty recyclables.
“They’ve been great,” he said. “Everybody has been donating their bottles to us. The Lion’s Club donated some money to us. And they made a Noiles Auction site for us as well.”
The Noiles family leaves Monday for another trip to the Shriner’s Hospital. To keep his son’s spirits high, Noiles has planned a special excursion while they are in Montreal.