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Getting clipped for Kade

Kade Chapman was like any other 11-year-old boy – happy, energetic, and even a little bit “cheeky”.

But in March this year, that all changed.

After he began experiencing cramps in his hands, concerned teachers called his parents, and he was rushed to the doctor, where they were told it was “muscle spasms and to take him home”.

As the “muscle spasms” continued, Kade’s parents took him to the emergency room that same night, and he was flown to Wellington Hospital within hours.

But by the time they left the hospital, Kade’s condition had deteriorated, with the cramps moving to his feet.

Since March, Kade’s condition has only worsened, and doctors are still trying to treat the condition.

The painful spasms now affect his neck, back, and body, forcing him to rely on a wheelchair to get around for several weeks.

Kade Chapman is a keen sportsman.

Doctors and specialists have been able to diagnose the condition as functional neurological disorder [FND], but there’s no one-size-fits-all cure.

FND is estimated to affect four to 12 people per 100,000.

The small community of Dalefield is rallying together to support Kade as he battles FND, including three “hairy men” who will be shaving their beards this Saturday at an event organised by the community to raise money for the Chapman whānau.

Dalefield School teacher Brodie Wilson and principal Willy Jephson are getting clipped in support of Kade, along with his rugby coach, Ed Ward.

Wilson said his beard is a highly recognisable part of his identity, so “shaving for me is a big deal” but he’s happy to because it’s the “least I could do.”

Kade’s mum Nat Chapman and her partner Jay Robinson have been blown away by the support of the community and now want to bring awareness to FND.

“I’m so grateful and overwhelmed by it all,” Chapman told the Times-Age.

“I’m very honoured to be a part of this community.”

She is grateful for the help she’s received from medical professionals in New Zealand and abroad but wants to raise awareness for FND to help other families that might be struggling.

The rare condition is defined as “a problem with the functioning of the nervous system and how the brain and body send and/or receive signals”.

  • A Givealittle page has been setup for the whānau: givealittle.co.nz/cause/shave-for-kade.

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