Despite disease, child back to being 3

Published 8:28 am Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hailey Marie Dominguez is doing a little better after being diagnosed with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome. -- Herald file photo

Hailey Marie Dominguez is having a happy Thanksgiving this year. Though she was diagnosed with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome, she’s not letting it get her down. Three-year-old Hailey is going strong.

“She seems to be doing a little bit better each day,” said her mother, Chelsie Reynolds. “She’s starting to get back to that 3-year-old.”

Hailey Marie Dominguez was diagnosed with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome, but her mother said the 3-year-old is starting to feel better and act like a child again.

OMS is a rare disease that affects only 1 in 10 million people each year, and there is no cure. Common things such as colds or bladder infections can trigger Hailey’s symptoms, which include rapid eye darting and shaking legs and arms to the point where she can’t walk, according to her grandmother Trisha Reynolds. At one point, Hailey quit walking altogether, fearing she would fall if she even tried.

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Hailey recently finished chemotherapy treatment, which helps OMS and side effects like neuroblastoma, a type of cancer common in young children up to 4-years-old. Neuroblastoma attacks the nerves, often spreading to bones and organs and shutting down a person’s system.

Though Hailey hasn’t been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, doctors have found malignant tumors inside Hailey before.

“They haven’t quite ruled it out, but they’ll keep on it,” Chelsie said. “They caught hers pretty early.”

That’s why Chelsie’s thankful for Hailey, and for her other children Andres, 9, and Jasmyn, 7. Chelsie is also thankful for all the support she has received from her family, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s family.

“There’s been a lot of support from everybody,” she said.

Family and friends put on the “Healing for Hailey” benefit earlier this month at the Eagles Club. Chelsie said the benefit went great and she was grateful for the support. Many donated items for the benefit, and others played music for no charge. The Reynolds also met another family with a child who has OMS through the benefit. That family donated to the benefit, as well.

Through contact with that family, the Reynolds have learned about the OMS Clinic in Springfield, Ill., which deals directly with the disease. Trisha said a tumor in the brain or along the spine can often accompany the disease and can aggravate the symptoms, part of the reason why OMS is also known as dancing eyes, dancing feet syndrome.

“We’re still planning on bringing her down … to see the specialist,” Chelsie said.

For now, Chelsie is thankful for her family, for Hailey’s improving health, and for still being here.

—Reporter Matt Peterson contributed to this report.