Mum fights for son's acceptance
THERE are 22 million people in Australia, but Maverick Walker could be the only one suffering from a 'very rare and very random' skin condition.
The 12-year-old from North Lismore has cutis laxa.
It is characterised by skin which is loose, hanging, wrinkled and lacking in elasticity.
Sufferers can also have delayed fine and gross motor skills, and delayed physical and mental development.
“Sometimes people tease me because I look different,” Maverick said.
“I don't have any friends. No one comes over.”
His mum, Donna Walker, said her son was 'loving, beautiful and gorgeous', but could also be 'angry, aggressive and anxious'.
“He has been left behind in school because of the lack of support,” she said.
“I'm now home schooling him and we're seeing far better results. He just feels more comfortable and relaxed at home.
“We don't know any other children in Australia with cutis laxa.
“It's very random and very rare.
“We would like to meet other families who are in this situation, because we just don't know what to do.
“I just want other kids to accept Maverick for who he is, and to look after him. He's starting high school next year.”
Ms Walker had an 'unusual pregnancy' with Maverick and when he was born doctors weren't sure what was wrong.
He was diagnosed with the condition when he was five years old.
“We were told he had some sort of birth condition,” Ms Walker said.
“We had already chosen his name - Maverick. He was always going to be a maverick. We wanted him to be able to blaze his own trail.”
Raising four kids on her own has been 'very challenging' for Ms Walker, who also has Kaitlyn, 15, Dion, 6, and Krystal, 4.
“I was just crying out for help,” she said.
“There have been times when I've just wanted to blow up.”
Ms Walker hopes that by speaking out about her son's condition, she will find the help and support her family so desperately needs.
“I also just want to raise awareness of Mav's condition. I want acceptance,” she said.