Courageous Kid: Conner Detten

Getting off the bus from school is one of Conner Detten's favorite things -- it means playtime with mom is next.

Angela, Conner's mom, spends every afternoon encouraging him to try new things.

"Seeing him laugh and smile, like if you're having a bad day, you can see that and you can't have a bad day anymore," said Angela Detten.

At 4-years-old, Conner cannot yet walk or speak, but he's working at it every day.

With his friends at the Warren Center, a nonprofit that empowers kids with developmental delays and disabilities, Conner is learning how to stand and communicate. 

Conner is part of the Undiagnosed Disease Network.

After a traumatic delivery, followed by lengthy hospital stays to try and diagnose gastrointestinal issues, Conner has seen specialists in Boston and Houston, yet his condition remains unknown as does his prognosis.

"It's just the not knowing," said Detten. "If we did know we could know what would best help him and it would also get insurance to realize what is best to help him."

That's why every time Conner stands or laughs – or even shows frustration – it's a reminder of how far he's come and the possibilities that await.

"We've learned so much through this experience, so I wouldn't have the same viewpoint on life of just embracing chaos and choosing joy if it weren't for Conner," said Detten.

Doctors are currently analyzing Conner's genetics to try and understand his condition. His family encourages people to visit the Undiagnosed Diseases Network to learn more about Conner.

They're hopeful information provided will one day help doctors answer critical questions.  

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