Originally aired on WFMY-TV – August 7, 2018
RANDLEMAN, N.C.– A 7-year-old in Randleman is thriving, even while battling cystic fibrosis.
He can’t go to a traditional school and his parents say that’s not stopping him.
At six weeks old, doctors diagnosed Anthony Perez with cystic fibrosis–a rare genetic disease with no cure that affects his lungs, pancreas and liver.
“The words that they told us I believe that caught me out of thinking like we don’t know how long your child is going to have, Anthony’s mother Norma Villa said.
The diagnosis entered the family into a world of uncertainty.
“The easiest way to break it down would be whenever you are sick and you kind of have mucus inside, you get to cough it up. With him, it’s like he has a permanent layer that surrounds his lungs,” Mauricio Perez, Anthony’s father said.
Now seven years old, Anthony has to undergo hours of treatment every day.
“Some nights he would wake us up just coughing and we would be up till 3, 4 in the morning just giving him treatments. And we were concerned how that would affect his schooling,” Mauricio said.
Anthony gets sick easily so his parent knew public school wouldn’t work for him.
So they enrolled him in North Carolina Virtual Academy. It’s a tuition free online public charter school.
Anthony’s given a computer, textbooks and daily itinerary. He’s able to interact with other students and his instructor without ever leaving his house.
“They understand his condition and they understand what he goes through and that’s something that we really take into great appreciation.” Mauricio added.
To learn more about North Carolina Virtual Academy, visit https://ncva.k12.com/.