Graysen Ripic is an 11 year old who resides in Owego, NY who recently touched the hearts of many across the nation.
Graysen was born with a rare genetic disorder called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. This rare disorder impacts his ability to do many things such as walk or move his fingers. Graysen has had 12 elective orthopedic surgeries all of which were completed with the promise that one day he will walk amongst his peers. In August 2020, Graysen underwent a procedure known as bilateral reorientational proximal femoral osteotomies at Shriner’s Hospital for Children. This procedure entailed the surgical breaking of his femurs and rotating them into a position where his knees and feet would align in front of him. This procedure should have been his last to get him up and walking. Unfortunately, Graysen was faced with an infection that went unnoticed and untreated, and as a result his femurs did not heal back together. Graysen was required to have a surgical revision in July 2021. Shortly after, his left leg was showing signs of infection. Graysen had three irrigation and debridement procedures all which occured in the summer months. In November 2021 an X-ray confirmed that Graysen’s femurs had made no progression and he was diagnosed with a non-union for a second time. Graysen went to Upstate Medical University Hospital on February 22, 2022 for his second revision. His surgeons are optimistic but cautious. He is being followed by five specialties all of which are struggling to identify the infection that Graysen has or had. Throughout the past 1 ½ years Graysen has not been permitted to bare weight on his legs and his goal to one day walk is getting further away from him. The future for Graysen and his goal to walk is not clear to most, but he insists that “Even if he is down by 10 in the 4th quarter, he will win.”
Graysen does not allow his diagnosis to define him and is determined to find ways to do all that the average 11 year old does. Graysen has a passion for hunting, video gaming, and drawing. What is most important to him is his Buffalo Bills. Graysen has a love for his favorite quarterback, Josh Allen, like no other. I believe this is because Graysen and Josh share the same drive to preserve against all odds. Recently, during free time in art class and with his quarterback in mind, he put his pencil to paper, using only his mouth. Graysen worked through several free periods to draw his Josh Allen. Graysen’s teacher was so amazed by his talent creating a drawing that most could not with their hands and went to Facebook to share his talent with many. Graysen received lots of attention from those in his community, but he continues to stay humble and hungry.
Graysen’s needs are very high and the cost of meeting those needs are high too. Please consider buying his artwork in the form of this t-shirt to assist his family with meeting his future medical expenses.