October 6, 2010
He survived the Haiti earthquake and endures a rare disease that keeps him from enjoying the sun.
Job is one of 250 people in the United States that have Xeroderma Pigmentosum or XP. He is the first Haitian diagnosed with the disease. XP keeps the body from repairing damage to the DNA in the skin that protects people from the sun's harmful UV rays.
Two days after the earthquake in Haiti, Job was left at the Star of Hope Mission. He was later diagnosed and treated for his condition on the U.S.N.S. comfort during the United State's relief efforts in January. Unfortunately, he lost his right eye to cancer because of the disease and his entire face and body is covered with lesions. Melissa and Larry Beach of Kemah, Texas learned about Job through their church group and, despite of his condition, they adopted him in April
Job has to wear a protective suit whenever he goes outside and the windows at the Beach's home had to be tinted to keep the UV rays from getting in the house. Job can only stay outside for a short time.
"He has to be fully geared, no skin showing. He has his gloves, his hat, his socks, his shoes. no flip flops. And if we're outside, he really is limited to about an hour a day." Mrs. Beach says.
The Beach family have 14 children, ten of whom were adopted, and many of them have health issues as well. While Haitian birth records are never kept, dental studies show Job is probably 12 years old. But, because of his upbringing he has the mental aptitude of a two year old.
Melissa says Job will always be different, but the family tries to make things as normal as possible. "We went to play at McDonald's and mom's pulled their kids off the playground. I don't think people realize, there's nothing wrong with him. It's not a disease that you can catch."
Her other children have often stopped going outside during the day just to make Job feel better and to keep him from crying at the windows or door. Melissa says the family is thankful for the company that tinted the windows for free, "We love the window tinting and everything, but he's still a hidden child. He'll never be free to run on the beach without wearing his suit or run outside and feel the sun."
The Beach family is now trying to raise money to help pay for a prosthetic right eye for the son who has brought sunshine into their lives.