Ladd-en with love
In 2015, Y-12 firefighter Ryan Ladd’s daughter, Kennedy, was diagnosed with Hurler syndrome (MPS 1), a rare genetic lysosomal storage disease. Life for Ladd, Kennedy, and Allie (his wife) has been busy since as they have shared with others the need for research on MPS and welcomed Lincoln, their now 2 year old who also has MPS 1.
Children with Hurler syndrome are characterized by skeletal abnormalities, cognitive impairment, heart disease, respiratory problems, enlarged liver and spleen, characteristic faces, and reduced life expectancy. Patients live life in and out of the hospital and will endure many surgeries. Without treatment, kids with Hurler syndrome have a life expectancy of 5 10 years of age. There is no cure.
Ladd wanted to surprise Allie with a fun trip — somewhere besides Cincinnati and its children’s hospital. He chose New York City, and while they intended to educate others about MPS 1, what neither of them expected was the platform they got to share their story on: NBC’s live TODAY show.
At the time, the couple had no idea their story would be shared multiple times. “We didn’t even comprehend we would get to say ‘MPS 1’ on national TV! Allie’s makeover went viral, and we are grateful,” Ladd said. “We were interviewed by our local NBC station (WBIR), and we gained followers, prayer warriors, and donors on our journey to hopefully find a cure. We need a cure, and with awareness, comes a cure!”
The Ladds ask for your help to educate others about MPS 1. “Tell someone about MPS,” said Ladd. Learn more about the disease from the National MPS Society.
“Something easy everyone can do is to wear purple on Rare Disease Day, February 29, and on MPS Awareness Day, May 15,” he said. “We are so grateful for the love and care that has been shown to our family through this journey. We have been so blessed by donations, vacation donation, messages, and support. We are forever grateful and so appreciative of the love that has been shown by all of our Y-12 family.”