Nine-year-old Sumrall baseball player defies medical odds

Nine-year-old Sumrall baseball player defies medical odds

SUMRALL, MS (WDAM) - A Sumrall boy with a rare disease is defying the odds.

Doctors said he would never walk or talk, but now he is hitting home runs both on and off the baseball field.

Nine-year-old Brayden Riley is 44 inches tall and weighs only 40 pounds, but that does not stop him from playing one of his favorite sports.

In January, doctors diagnosed Brayden with a rare genetic disease. There is not much medical knowledge about his condition.

"He actually is the only person in the world to have what he has," Mother Miranda Riley said. "It's called CENPF Related Ciliopathy. I think there are three other cases in the world that are similar."

Brayden's disease prevents his body from developing normally. Since birth, he has undergone eight surgeries and will undergo his ninth in another week.

"He was in the hospital for two months before he got to come home," Miranda Riley said. "He had the feeding tube in his nose until he was eight months old."

His parents said growing up was not easy.

"Anywhere we'd go people would ask me, 'Is he a dwarf, is he a primordial dwarf, or what's going on with him? You need to feed that baby.' I would come home and cry a lot," Miranda Riley said.

For the past six years, Brayden has been a member of the Sumrall Youth Baseball Association. Brayden's father, Daniel, is his baseball coach.

He said Brayden is an inspiration to many.

"(Baseball) gave him the opportunity to do the best he could to show other people that even though you do have challenges in life to still put forth effort and try," Daniel Riley said.

Miranda Riley said she is a proud mom.

"It tickles my heart to see him do well," Miranda Riley said. "He may not be a superstar, he's not the absolute best player there is, but in my eyes he is. And I'm proud of everything he does. He's awesome."

Brayden and his team will compete in the Dixie Youth Baseball Tournament in Columbia at the Dean Griner Ballpark July 1-3.