CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - This video shows an unlikely friendship, that’s a great story.
Jeremy Hawkins is playing the drums. He’s 17 years old and a senior at Cox Mill High School in Concord. He and his older brother are both #MollysKids… but it has been years since an update. We first wrote about them living with Batten Disease back in 2015. The rare neurological disorder causes blindness, seizures, loss of motor skills and eventually death. Life expectancy is late teens to early twenties.
Yes. Both brothers live with this.
Their dad, Chris, says Jeremy and 21-year-old Brandon have slowed down tremendously in the last two years but still manage to have “a joie de vivre that exudes from their personalities.” Brandon loves to listen to audiobooks, and Jeremy is a huge Carolina Panthers fan.
And..... he has also gotten into percussion instruments.
This video is from senior night for band members.
Dancing beside Jeremy is Jeff Wallace. He goes by “Wallace” and has been Jeremy’s one-on-one helper since middle school.
“From day one these two have had a special bond, amazing to watch,” Chris said. “They’ve been to Washington DC, Atlanta, Carowinds, and countless field trips for school and band competitions. Wallace always has a kind word to everyone."
They brought down the house together on senior night.
Coincidentally, I’m working on a story for WBTV News to air next Tuesday -- November 27th – at 5pm about the student body at Cox Mill HS surprising a student who lives with autism. It was awesome. (Dream On 3 was involved.) When I first starting writing this post, I didn’t realize the same school was involved. They clearly have a culture of doing good things.
“Cox Mill High has been great to both our boys throughout the years,” Chris said. “As has WR Odell Elementary and Harris Road Middle School. They’ve really supported our family through the years.”
Batten Disease is terrible. Only 7,000 diagnosed cases in the WORLD. You can find more information here >> http://bdsra.org
But this video is great. As are the photos below. A big hello this morning to Brandon and Jeremy... and a massive thank you to Wallace, a real-life angel.
**Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.