DEFYING ILLNESS: Jacob Yourell. Contributed

Illness no match for Jacob's dreams

BEING affected by eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE, is not stopping Evans River K-12 primary student Jacob Yourell from pursuing his sporting dreams.

Jacob, who turned 10 on April 15, recently competed at the PSSA state swimming titles, swimming in the junior boys 50m backstroke and finishing 34th out of 40.

"He is the first child from Evans River K-12 primary school to achieve this level for swimming," said Jacob's mother, Rebecca.

"He had a great time. He swam really well, and it was a great experience for him swimming at Homebush in Sydney in the Olympic pool.

"Jacob also got to put his hands and feet into casts made by Olympians such as Michael Phelps and Grant Hackett."

EoE is a chemical sensitivity where Jacob's immune system is too active.

"When the body receives food, it sees it as a foreign object which it needs to get rid of," Rebecca said.

"There are only 18 foods Jacob's body can tolerate.

"They include pears, cauliflower, pasta, chicken and rice."

Rebecca makes sure Jacob can do whatever he can while he is fit and healthy "because there may be a time he won't be".

With that reasoning, Jacob plays soccer and football and is involved in nippers, swimming and surfing.

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