When he was only a few months old, Christian’s doctors noticed that he had no reflexes in his feet and sent him to a neurologist. Six months later, he started falling down a lot and developing a lot of bruises. At the age of two, he was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. This condition affects the nerves in the brain and the spine and progressively weakens the muscles and nerve functions, making it difficult to walk. Christian must wear braces from his feet to his ankles and must now use a walker for long distances. He has also been diagnosed with speech apraxia – in which he has trouble communicating what he wants to say – and Chiari malformation, which is where brain tissue protrudes into the spine, causing pressure and a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid. For the Chiari malformation, Christian needed a decompression surgery on his brain. This procedure lasted six hours and he was in the hospital for six days afterward. For weeks after the surgery, Christian was very ill and he went back to the hospital to have a spinal tap to help drain some of the fluid that had accumulated in his skull; his doctors also implanted a lumbar drain to help remove some of the excess fluid.
For his wish, Christian met his favorite football team, the Houston Texans! Before the game, Christian and his family were given a special VIP tour of Reliant Stadium that included the Texans’ cafeteria, gyms, and locker rooms. Outside of the locker room, Christian got his first taste of how friendly his favorite team was as they all greeted him with high-fives as they prepared for the game. Following the excitement of attending his first football game, Christian couldn’t believe his eyes as he was led down to meet his favorite player, quarterback Matt Schaub.
Christian greeted Schaub by calling his name, getting a big grin in greeting. Schaub sat down with Christian and spent a lot of time talking to the little boy and presenting him with a signed official Texans jersey, a signed football and a division hat. When it was time for Schaub to leave, he proclaimed that Christian was his hero and he told Christian to stay strong. The fun didn’t end there though, as Christian was invited onto the field to play a little catch with his dad before being joined by defensive end JJ Watt, who tossed the football with Christian and made the little boy feel like a part of the team.