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July 21, 2010 / Magic Mama

Ladd Ervin

I asked my mom if she would write a little something for me about her brother. Here are her words:

My liLaddttle brother Ladd was born on April 26, 1957, the youngest of Shirley and Allan’s four children and the only boy. He was a loving little guy who adored and “protected” our mother and looked up to and admired our firefighter father.  He had a strong sense of right and wrong and looked at life rather seriously sometimes. Ladd had lots of questions. He also loved to laugh. He was a happy boy who liked Tonka trucks and crawly things and cowboy shows on television.

One of my favorite memories was finding him lying fully clothed (shoes and all) on top of his neatly made bed one summer evening. I don’t remember if I knocked and was invited in or just barged in. I’d heard him moving around in his room behind his closed door after he and Mom had finished their goodnight ritLaddual and then was especially curious when I saw the light shining from under his door. It turned out that for some time, after being tucked into bed at night, he’d been getting up, making his bed and dressing so that he wouldn’t have to waste time doing so in the morning. He wanted to be prepared to jump off of – not out of his bed, have breakfast (if he must) and be out the door to play. How clever was that?  It was “so him” to have a plan.

Aside from normal childhood illnesses, Ladd appeared to be in fine health.  But in 1964 at the age of 7, he became suddenly and seriously ill. We realized later that there had beLadden behavior changes prior to this, which are part of the illness. He was misdiagnosed more than once because the disease that consumed him was a mystery to most of the medical community. It was heartbreaking that he had to endure tests and procedures and treatment for disorders that he didn’t even have. He was finally diagnosed with sudanophilic leukodystrophy which we now know to be adrenoleukodystrophy.

After several long months of the devastation of adrenoleukodystrophy, our darling boy died on January 19, 1965. Forty-five years later we still miss him, and we’re still hoping for a cure.

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