At just 5 years old, Hyde Talbot has spent more time in doctor’s offices and hospitals than most adults.
In January 2008, when he was just 18 months old, Hyde was diagnosed with a rare genetic blood disorder called Atypical HUS.
The disorder causes a mutation in the gene that produces Factor H, which helps control the immune system. Less than 600 people in the United States have the condition.
As a result, mother Phyllis Talbot said, Hyde struggled with kidney failure, severe high blood pressure, anemia and low platelets.
He went through six months of almost constant hospitalization and three years of in-home dialysis treatments.
On Feb. 1, 2011, Hyde underwent a kidney transplant in combination with an experimental drug therapy.
His mother said since then he’s “done very well.”
“Hyde is like a new kid,” Talbot said. “Now he’s like super Hyde — playing outside with friends, having sleepovers, doing all the normal 5-year-old things.”
On Saturday, he’ll get to do many of his favorite things during the annual Hike for Hyde fundraising event.
Phyllis and husband Bill, along with the family of Bryan Hearn, a Gwinnett County boy who also has the disorder, have held Hike for Hyde each year since 2009 at Sawnee Mountain Preserve.
Talbot said since it began, the event has raised more than $85,000.
Eighty percent of the funds go to the Foundation for Children with Atypical HUS and 20 percent goes to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where Hyde has received most of his care, including his kidney transplant.
Talbot said the event features a “come-and-go” hike up Sawnee Mountain, as well as a number of activities and games for children.
“It’s a very kid-friendly event,” she said. “There’s bounce houses, slides, face painting and cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn, all that kind of stuff.
“This year we’ve been spray painting rocks gold so we can do a treasure hunt and panning for ‘gold’ with the kids.”
Talbot said so far about 400 people have registered for the event.
“We typically double [the pre-registration number] the day of, so we’ll probably have about 800 people,” she said.
“We don’t have a specific fundraising goal, but we’d love to at least raise $15,000 to hit the $100,000 mark over the [four] years.”
Anyone interested in participating can pre-register online at www.hike4hyde.com.
The cost before Wednesday is $25 for adults, $12 for children 12 and under, or $60 for a family of four.
“After April 11, the cost goes up by $2 per person,” Phyllis Talbot said.
She said Hyde and his 7-year-old sister, Ruth, look forward to the event every year.
“They’re both in love with it because they get to eat cotton candy and play games all day,” she said.