North County family fighting rare disease and mounting debt - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

North County family fighting rare disease and mounting debt

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A North County teen is battling a rare life-changing disease, while his parents face an uphill financial battle.

Zane Breier, 14, suffers from scleroderma - a condition known mostly to adults. In simple terms, his immune system is attacking itself and destroying fatty tissue and muscles, making his skin hard and unable to expand. It's already affected his chest, jaw, neck and tongue.

"I have like a big mark here on my chest that's the one that first originally started," said Zane.

At first glance, Zane looks like your typical 14-year-old boy. He loves sports and his freshman year at Mission Vista High School. But the reality is, Zane is fighting a disease so rare that only a couple hundred kids his age have it nationwide.

His dad's biggest fear is that it keeps spreading and Zane develops more issues. In which case, Zane would never be able to play sports again.

There is no known cure for scleroderma. Zane was diagnosed in 2012. Since then, he's seen several specialists and takes many medications daily, but nothing seems to work.

Zane, who has two younger siblings, has been in and out of Rady Children's Hospital for the last few years, but despite the obstacles he and his family face they're trying to stay positive and are asking for help from the public. Zane’s mom Christy Breier said the challenge with this disease is figuring out a way how to pay for it all.

"We're no longer treading water. We're sinking now,” she said.

For more than a year, Zane's parents fought their insurance company which refused to cover an important drug. During that time, Zane's condition worsened and while the medicine they need is now taken care of everything else is not.

"Yesterday, we got a bill for $13.10. Last week, we got a bill for $3,864," Breier added.

A Generosity page by Indiegogo has been set up to help and so far it's raised more than $17,000.

Moving forward, Zane's doctors say he needs to prepare himself for major reconstructive surgery.

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