The Kid Brother

Caudal regression syndrome is a broad term for a rare complex disorder characterized by abnormal development of the lower end of the spine. The spine consists of vertebrae that collectively form the spinal column.

The spinal column is generally broken down into three segments – the cervical spine, consisting of the vertebrae just below the skull; the thoracic spine, consisting of the vertebrae in the chest region; and the lumbar spine, consisting of the vertebrae of the lower back.

A triangularly-shaped bony structure called the sacrum joins the lumbar portion of spine to the pelvis. The sacrum consists of five vertebrae fused together. At the end of the sacrum is the tailbone (coccyx).

A wide range of abnormalities may potentially occur in infants with caudal regression syndrome including abnormal development (agenesis) of the sacrum and coccyx and abnormalities of the lumbar spine. More severe malformations may occur in some cases.

Abnormalities of the lower spine can cause a variety of additional complications including joint contractures, clubfeet and disruption or damage of the end of the spinal cord may occur, potentially causing urinary incontinence. Additional anomalies of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, heart, respiratory system, upper limbs and upper portions of the spine can also occur.

The exact cause of caudal regression syndrome is unknown. Both environmental and genetic factors are suspected to play a role in the development of the disorder. [Via: rarediseases.org]

kenny-easterday

Kenneth “Kenny” Easterday (Dec. 7, 1973 – Feb. 12, 2016) was born with the rare disability, sacral agenesis. To improve his mobility, his legs were amputated at the hip when he was six months old.

Kenny gained some notoriety following the 1988 release of the Canadian movie The Kid Brother in which he played a fictionalized version of himself.  Easterday refused to use a prosthesis, preferring to walk on his hands or use a skateboard. He was married at the age of 19 to an able-bodied woman named Sarah; they were divorced two years later. [Via: Wikipedia]

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