Broken bones don’t stop Upper Township boy

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Charlie Fayter enters the batter’s box during a Challenger Sports baseball game Sunday at the Upper Township Middle School in Petersburg. He is helped by (from left) Coach Jackie Adams and volunteer buddies Mike Kimball and Noah Gillian. Charlie Fayter enters the batter’s box during a Challenger Sports baseball game Sunday at the Upper Township Middle School in Petersburg. He is helped by (from left) Coach Jackie Adams and volunteer buddies Mike Kimball and Noah Gillian.

Charlie Fayter takes the baseball field to celebrate Wishbone Day

PETERSBURG – There was a risk Charlie Fayter could break a bone when he took the baseball field Sunday. But that has never stopped him before.

 

Charlie, 7, of Upper Township, has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition that causes his bones to break easily. The spunky, bright little boy uses a wheelchair most of the time. Charlie also suffers from chronic pain, according to his mother, Janet.

He currently has a broken right leg and is scheduled to have surgery this week to replace rods there, she said. Charlie has rods in all of his arms and legs to reduce fractures. He’s had as many as seven surgeries in a year-and-a-half period.

A person with OI, also known as “brittle bone disease,” could have hundreds of broken bones in his or her lifetime. The fractures occur as a result of slow bone growth.

So taking the baseball field isn’t without risk for Charlie. Janet said that while she strives to prevent breaks, if it means taking some risks so that her son can live a full and happy life, then the risks are worth it.

“He is just like any other seven-year-old, who just happens to be a little person who breaks bones,” Janet said. “He is a little boy. He is not OI.”

On Sunday, Charlie played in Upper Township Challenger Sports’ baseball program at the Upper Township Middle School. The organization held a Wishbone Day event to raise awareness of OI.

Coach Jackie Adams and volunteer buddies Mike Kimball and Noah Gillian helped Charlie play.

Wishbone Day was not a fundraising event, Janet said, but was intended to “educate people and, more importantly, to show that folks who have OI are more than their disorder.”

Her son is very charismatic and popular, she said, but she still thinks people shy away from including him in activities out of fear that he may break a bone.

“OI is no show stopper,” Janet said.

Charlie attends the Upper Township Primary School. He plays baseball and loves to play a computer game called Minecraft with friends. He also swims like a fish, Janet said.

This week is Osteogenesis Awareness Week and Tuesday was Wishbone Day. Wishbone Day started in Australia in 2008 and is now an international event.

For more information on OI, visit WishboneDay.com or OIF.org.

Challenger Sports was founded in 2009. It is a co-ed recreation program that adapts sports and social events for children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The program currently offers adapted baseball, soccer, bowling, and participates in the Special Olympics. Volunteers team up with the players to offer encouragement and support during fun-filled, skill building activities and adapted games.

For more information on Challenger Sports, visit

(Back row, l-r) Cooper Anderson, John Bruno, Jackie Adams, George Meher, Caitlyn Ludgate, (front row, l-r) Noah Gillian, Tom Alvord, Kathy Anderson Turcotte, Charlie Fayter and Mike Kimball show their Wishbone Day bracelets. (Back row, l-r) Cooper Anderson, John Bruno, Jackie Adams, George Meher, Caitlyn Ludgate, (front row, l-r) Noah Gillian, Tom Alvord, Kathy Anderson Turcotte, Charlie Fayter and Mike Kimball show their Wishbone Day bracelets.

 

Charlie Fayter, 7, has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition that causes his bones to break easily. Charlie Fayter, 7, has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition that causes his bones to break easily.

www.utchallengersports.com.

 


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