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Gray, TN child genetic disorder celebrates 1st birthday; family starts Facebook page

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GRAY, TN (WJHL) - RJ Morelock is living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and he relies on a ventilator, oxygen tanks, and a heater just to keep him going.  We introduced you to RJ in January, when bad weather caused a power outage at his home - putting him danger.

This past weekend, RJ celebrated his first birthday with family and friends at his home in Gray.

"A year old today - Yes!" says his mother Crystal Morelock. She told News Channel 11 she feels, "...tickled, because we didn't expect him to be here with us.",

RJ has proved he's a fighter. With his family and friends beside him lending support, his mother holds out a lot of hope for the future of her little boy.

 "I wish they would find a cure. They say it is the closest genetic disorder that they are going to be able to find a cure for -- hopefully in the next five years, " said RJ's mother. 

As the hope for a cure is ever present, so is the financial burden of taking care of RJ's needs.

Saturday, Bud Banks with the Unicoi County Shriners organization, presented the Morelock family a gift of money from the Shriners.

"A lot of people don't know exactly what we do, but we're here to help the kids that is what it is all about," said Banks. 

Some friends of the Morelock family have started a Facebook campaign, called 'Asking for Prayers For RJ Morelock,' to raise money for RJ's needs like diapers and other necessities.

Friends and family hope RJ Morelock will be hearing the happy birthday song for many years to come.

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