Grant Fellows of Raleigh was five years old when he developed recurrent ear and sinus infections. “For an entire year, he was on and off antibiotics. Every six weeks, there was a new infection,” says his mom, Chris.
A specialist put tubes in Grant’s ears, but the infection came back. “Something didn’t seem right, so we decided to go to Duke for a second opinion,” says Chris. They made an appointment with Duke otolaryngologist Matthew Ellison, MD. “We hoped he would see something the other doctors didn’t,” says Chris.
Ellison ran a series of tests to look for, among other things, potential allergies and immune deficiencies. Finally, they had an answer. “It was one of those bittersweet moments,” says Chris. “It was good to have an answer, but then we realized what we were dealing with.”Grant was diagnosed with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), an immune disorder that leaves him vulnerable to infection, and increases his risk for serious diseases like cancer. “It was scary,” says Chris. “He’ll have this chronic condition his whole life unless they find a cure to jumpstart his immune system.”