Although Léo Vauclare is just 3 years old, his kisses are known around the world.
A Franco-American living in Paris with his parents and little sister, Léo is the boy behind Bisous for Leo, a nonprofit organization named with the French word for “kisses.”
He loves swimming in the pool, listening to music and laughing. His big eyes light up behind a pair of large, round spectacles every he time he smiles — which is often.
But he has trouble eating. He can no longer hold himself upright without support.
When Léo was born, he developed like any other child — crawling, cruising and then finally taking his first steps. But his mother, Deborah Vauclare, said he never got past that. He would fall every few paces.
At about 15 months, Léo’s parents took him to the doctor, who assured them that some children take a few more months to learn how to walk.
But when the toddler continued to falter, his parents’ worries grew. Extensive testing and therapy followed. Then they pursued genetic testing.
The results showed their son had Infantile 918kiss สมัคร Neuroaxonal Dystrophy — or INAD, an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease that robs children of their fledgling abilities. It can weaken their muscles, taking away their ability to walk, hold up their own heads or control their eye movements, according to the INADcure Foundation.
Vauclare called the disease a mixture of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s that impacts children.