Landen Smith, who has spent his entire life in and out of hospitals, wished he could spend time at Atlantis in the Bahamas. Make-A-Wish made it possible.

"It ended up being absolutely perfect for him. Landen loves water, water slides and fish. He got to experience all of that in one place. It was fantastic," says Landen's mom Rebecca Shedd. "Our first day was all about wandering around and seeing all the fish in the aquarium. The second day was experiencing the water park, which we couldn't get done in one day."

Landen got to swim with dolphins and sea lions and even went fishing. "It was amazing to see him smile everyday. It's been a long time since we've seen Landen be Landen."

Landen has a XIAP deficiency. "The doctors still don't know too much about it," says Rebecca. "It was only discovered 10 years ago and there's only about 200 cases diagnosed in the world. He's the very first case they've seen here, so everybody is learning through Landen."

The only cure for Landen is a bone marrow transplant, but XIAP is the most difficult immunodeficiency to transplant successfully. He’s been on the bone marrow registry for 2 years and they still don’t have a match. But a new drug may change that. "They've created a brand new drug trial. We're just waiting for Landen to get sick because that's the only way he'll qualify for the trial."

While the family waits, Rebecca says it's the love from family and friends that gets them through. "I can't say enough about the community and how much support we've been given."


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