Erica Beckstead and her son Mason Alberts are both living with Osteogenesis imperfecta

Mom and son battle brittle bone disease

June 29 fundraising event will help pair receive treatment in the U.S.

Nineteen-year-old Mason Alberts is used to living with pain.

For nearly 20 years, Alberts has lived with a medical condition known as Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) –  more commonly known as brittle bone disease, a genetic disorder in which low levels of collagen in Alberts’ bones causes them to become weak and break easily.

As an active two-year-old, Alberts once rolled out of bed onto the floor of his bedroom and broke his collarbone, the same injury his mother Erica Beckstead suffered at the same age.

She has OI too.

Sitting on a leather sofa in a neatly kept apartment in Whalley, Beckstead lists off the numerous broken bones and surgeries hers son has had to endure.

“Mason has probably broken 10 bones, including having had major surgeries to both knees and elbows,” said Beckstead. “He broke his first kneecap falling down in Grade 7 and the second kneecap the same way in Grade 9. Basically he was in a wheelchair for two years.”

Slowly rubbing his hands over the long scars down the front of both knees, Alberts explains how he knows he needs to be careful. But it’s tough as a teen.

“I know I shouldn’t be doing certain things, but I do anyway.”

Alberts has a passion for music and playing the guitar, an interest that helps keep his mind in a positive space.

It wasn’t until May of this year that Beckstead found out she too had the condition. She had broken numerous bones herself as a child, but doctors were never able to pinpoint her problem.

Since May, both mother and son have been travelling to Tacoma, Wash. to take part in a new research study to help build up the collagen levels in their bones. It was there Beckstead learned what she had presumed for many years: She and Alberts have type IV OI.

After giving a presentation to the Gizeh Shriners of B.C. and Yukon, Beckstead was able to secure funding for her and Alberts to take part in the study, however other medical expenses have become extremely difficult to manage. These include specialized air casts and continuing physiotherapy.

And her goal is to purchase a scooter for Alberts, to keep him more mobile.

On Friday, June 29 from 4-11 p.m., Erica has organized a fundraising event a the Guildford Golf and Country Club to support

The event will feature five local bands, a mystery pageant including Miss B.C. and Miss World Canada contestants, along with various guest speakers. Admission is by donation, with proceeds helping to cover Alberts medical and travel expenses.

For more information go to www.ericabeckstead.com or www.oif.org

Just Posted

Scholarships set up in memory of Surrey grandpa killed in traffic crash

Pritam Singh Benning, 83, died after a car crashed into him at a Newton bus stop on Sept. 9, 2009

Ocean Athletics takes aim at Project Play contest in quest for track resurfacing

South Surrey Athletic Park track ‘eight years behind it’s best-before date’ says club

White Rock and South Surrey voices weigh in Trudeau ‘brownface’ and ‘blackface’

People are going to have to make an “individual choice” on how to react, says columnist

South Surrey elementary school to celebrate 70 years

Ray Shepherd Elementary to host anniversary event

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

North Delta happenings: week of Sept. 19

Events and community listings for North Delta

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Indian teachers that inspired Super 30 movie talk about hope

Movie is based on international best-selling book by B.C. doctor

Abbotsford erases skate park graffiti mural honouring student killed in car crash

Many in community angry at city’s move after saying art wouldn’t be immediately removed

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

B.C. man guilty of first-degree murder in Yukon killing

Edward James Penner, 22, was given the mandatory life sentence for the 2017 slaying of 25-year-old Adam Cormack

Woman stabbed at least five times in Nelson during random attack

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Most Read