Valley family helps raise awareness about teen's battle with PANDAS

Loni Blandford

Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Valley family helps raise awareness about teen's battle with PANDAS

CREATED Oct. 9, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's an auto immune disorder that often goes misdiagnosed. A Valley family is trying to teach others what they're going through with help from Governor Sandoval and Mayor Goodman. 

"As a family we've worked very hard to make October 9th PANDAS awareness day," said Hugo Torres, Diego's stepfather.

Through t - shirts, fundraisers, and proclamations from State and City officials mom Tina and stepdad Hugo are trying to get the old Diego back. Doctors diagnosed the 13 - year - old with PANDAS - a Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections.

"It's your child and you know when there are changes in your child," said Hugo.

Changes, the family say came in forms of outbursts, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and baby talk. It was enough to keep Diego out of school this year. When we first met the family this summer they were trying to raise money to cover the costly treatment doctors said would help, IVIG, a plasma protein replacement therapy.

"We're drowning his immune system and his antibodies with healthy antibodies hoping that that will reset, reprogram his immune system," said Hugo.

Diego will spend the next day getting pumped with fluids.

"I'm thankful for all the people that helped me raise money and helped me get to the IVIG and all that I needed to get healthy again," said Diego.

Now it's a wait and see process.

"After the first treatment they sat anywhere from three to four weeks we should notice if there is a change or not and we're just going to hope for the best and take it one step at a time," said Hugo.

Diego hopes other kids with PANDAS have the same support system he has.

"To not be afraid and keep your head up and just got to be patient, " said Diego.

Diego's doctor says the IVIG treatment costs about $10,000. We are going to keep in touch with the family and update you on how he's doing. If you'd like to learn more about PANDAS click here.

If you want to know more about Diego's story, click here.

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