N. Texas Boy Teaches Mom Greatest Lesson

5-year-old battles rare illness

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW.com
    Tanner Cagle, 5, is battling nephrotic syndrome.

    Jen Cagle of Royse City wants people to know about the rare illness her son has, hoping awareness will help others and eventually lead to a cure.

    "For me, putting the word out maybe can help other families. It helps me deal with it, there was a long period of time where I was angry and depressed and the whole 'Why me? Why my family?'" Cagle explained. "This is my son, and I want to do whatever I can to save his life and any other parents going through it with me, let's find a cure."

    Young Boy Teaches Adults Life Lessons

    [DFW] Young Boy Teaches Adults Life Lessons
    Five year old Tanner is teaching life lessons to adults around him. (Published Friday, Aug 7, 2009)

    Cagle's oldest son Tanner, now 5, was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome when he was 11 months old and has been in out of the hospital since. Treatments include steroids and for Tanner, may eventually lead to a kidney transplant.

    Pediatric nephrologist Dr. Raymond Quigley, a physician at UT Southwestern Medical Center who sees patients at Children's Medical Center Dallas, said a transplant, though, isn't a cure.

    "The problem with that, is since it's probably his immune system causing the trouble it can reoccur in the transplanted kidney," Quigley explained. "So,  it's almost like you're never out of the woods."

    So, Cagle takes life day by day, cherishing each moment that her son feels good, is happy and smiling.

    "Keep moving. Keep going. Just the enjoy the moments now.  He's taught me how to be a better person. I live for him. Every day I get up. I feel, I breathe, I eat, I sleep to provide for him. Tanner's been my greatest lesson in life. He's taught me what's important."