GoFundMe account for Zhang raises more than expected


Junior Charlie Zhang is just like any normal junior: he plays on the basketball team and takes honors and AP courses. But a week into this school year, he began to feel sick with a cold. The cold went on for about a week, and Zhang did not get any better. After a week had gone by, Zhang could not feel his legs and was unable to walk. Zhang’s dad, Yumin Zhang, and mom, Jinbo Li, decided that it was time to take him to see a doctor to see what was going on.
Zhang was taken to the Emergency Room at Shady Grove Hospital by his parents. He was there for a few hours, then he was transferred to Children’s Hospital, where he stayed for a week.  While he was there, he had some tests done, and the results of the tests showed that there was inflammation in his spinal cord. Zhang was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis.
Transverse Myelitis is a disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. The Johns Hopkins University website states that “It is characterized by symptoms and signs of neurologic dysfunction in motor and sensory tracts on both sides of the spinal cord. The involvement of motor and sensory control pathways frequently produce altered sensation, weakness and sometimes urinary or bowel dysfunction.” The four symptoms of Transverse Myelitis are: weakness in the arms/legs, sensory symptoms such as numbness or tingling, pain and discomfort and bladder dysfunction. The website also states that “60% of TM cases remain unknown.”
After being diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, Zhang was treated at the hospital to bring down the inflammation and now he is in rehab to regain his strength. “I have been at the National Rehabilitation Hospital for two weeks, and doctors predict I will be here for another three weeks,” Zhang said.
Zhang attended school for the first week of the year, and he hopes to be back to school at the end of October. Zhang has the goal to be back playing basketball. “Charlie’s a fighter on and off the basketball court and I know he’ll be back on his feet soon,” senior Nick Bien said.
As basketball is one of Zhang’s passions, he is surrounded by his teammates who love him. His teammates have gone to the rehabilitation hospital to spend time with Zhang and to keep him company. “Charlie is a strong kid and will get through this. It is just hard to believe that it happened to such an active person like Charlie,” junior basketball teammate Zach Nannen said.
Two basketball moms, Katie Lam and Patsy Nannen, created a GoFundMe page to support the Zhang family with the cost of their son’s treatment, and the adaptations that they would need to make at their home once he can transition home. The goal was to raise $10K, but as of Oct. 3, over $13K has been raised, and the amount keeps growing. Donations are still being accepted.


Jill Geline

Commons Editor