Charity walk raises money for research, supports local boy battling genetic disorder

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — On Saturday, the Children’s Tumor Foundation held a “Shine a Light NF Walk” in Henrico’s Deep Run Park to benefit children suffering from neurofibramatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on the body’s nerves.

Among the attendees was Gabriel Bratton, 10, who was diagnosed with NF at the age of 4 months but recently started a new treatment that’s allowed him to regain use of his right hand.

“It’s like a tree, so this is like the roots of it and it’s entwined in the nerves and it’s very dangerous,” said Julie Cranor, Gabriel’s mom. “So going on the medication was a no brainer, really – either it was going to help or it wasn’t.”

That medication is Koselugo, the first FDA-approved treatment for inoperable plexiform neurofibromas, the type of NF Gabriel has. While there is no cure at this time, the CFT said in a press release that Gabriel’s tumor has shrunk by 20 percent.

After over a year on Koselugo, Cranor said, “It’s been tremendous.”

When asked how he was feeling, Gabriel simply said, “Good!”

The walk was organized in part by Team Gabriel, who bring attention to NF with events like this one, and “walk and fundraise in his honor.”

“We cannot be more thankful to have an event like the Shine a Light NF Walk,” said Cranor. “It has made us realize how many people in our community are fighting just like Gabriel.”

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