FDA may pull drug that helps ailing boy

Posted at 6:32 PM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 09:57:33-05

An experimental drug that gives a young boy with a rare disease a lot of hope could soon be unavailable to him on Christmas Eve.

Ten-year-old Tanner Rico is already looking forward to growing up.

He said, "I want to be a YouTuber."

No matter his career choice, there is one thing he really wants to be -- "A dad, yeah," he said.

Tanner has a rare genetic disease called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Most children with the disease don't live to see their 30th birthday, but Tanner tries to beat the odds by stretching every day.

"It hurts," said Tanner.

His feet don't drop very low, and the disease is slowly damaging his muscles.

"It's a horrible condition," said his mother, Traci Rico.

Tanner is dealing with DMD much better thanks to a trial drug called drisapersen.

"I could shower now and I can also get my seatbelt on and off. I still kind of need help getting up, but I could still get up small stairs, too," said Tanner.

He gets the drug once a week, but next week it may be gone. The FDA's decision about whether to approve the drug comes on Christmas Eve.

"Best Christmas gift we could get is a cure, or a Band-Aid, and that's what we see with drisapersen … we see a Band-Aid, and I'll take it," said his mother.

"What do you think the FDA is going to say?" asked 10News reporter Craig Herrera.

"I see them saying yes," Tanner replied.

About 20,000 kids in the U.S., mainly boys, have DMD.

For more information on the disease visit

The petition to have the FDA approve the drug can be found here