'He is my hero' | Lenoir City family seeking help for son with rare condition
 
Hayden Scarbrough is a 10-year-old boy with Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA. His family is running into roadblocks with his treatment and pleading for help.
LENOIR CITY, Tenn. wbir.comó A Lenoir City family is struggling to help their youngest son who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA, get the help he needs.

From difficulties with mobility to troubles with insurance, it's been a tough time. Now, they are pleading with the community to help.

Hayden Scarbrough is 10 years old and is the light of his family's life. He loves to make people laugh more than anything.
 

"He can make jokes just like that," said his dad, Chris Scarbrough. "His personality is awesome."

It's safe to say Hayden's parents would do anything for him.

"Hayden means the world to me," said Tonya Scarbrough, Hayden's mother. "I'd give my life for him. He is everything. He is my hero."
Hayden was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy when he was 3 and a half years old. It's a progressive disease that weakens muscles in the body.
At just 10 years old, his body is already severely affected. He spends much of his time in a wheelchair.
"He lost the ability about two years ago to completely walk," Chris said.
Getting the diagnosis at such a young age was a pivotal time for the family.
"After getting diagnosed it like tore my life apart because knowing that you couldn't help a child and take the pain away that the child was feeling, and you being mom you're supposed to be able to do that," Tonya explained.
Many basic activities like visiting the park are now an extreme challenge for Hayden. He wishes he could get on the swing or slide, instead of just watching other kids play.
The Scarbroughs know that the effects of SMA can't be reversed, but access to certain medicine and equipment could help Hayden's condition slow down. Getting those life-saving materials, though, has been a struggle.
"We've had to battle with the insurance company with them only having to cover one out of the four that he needed," Tonya Scarbrough said. "It's just like a roadblock everywhere we turn."
Without the help he needs, Hayden's family could be forced to move from their hometown to seek help.
"I don't want to move because I don't want to leave friends and family behind," Hayden Scarbrough said.
 
Even through his toughest times, Hayden's faith has never wavered.
"Hayden is a strong believer in prayer," his mom nodded.
"Praying in the day helps me have faith," Hayden added.
His dad feels the same way.
"They say sometimes that dads are heroes of kids, [but] it's backwards here," his dad said.
If you would like to help Hayden and his family get the life-saving care and treatment he needs, there is a GoFundMe set up here where you can do so.

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4/12/21