Brenda Trammell says she would like to see the county provide a center for children and adults diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome. She and her husband, Danny, have one son, Brian, now 28 years of age, who was diagnosed with that condition.
Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic condition involving changes in part of the X chromosome. It is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability (mental retardation) in boys. It is caused by a change in a gene called FMR1. A small part of the gene code is repeated on a fragile area of the X chromosome. The more repeats, the more likely there is to be a problem. The FMR1 gene makes a protein needed for your brain to grow properly. A defect in the gene makes your body produce too little of the protein, or none at all. Boys and girls can both be affected, but because boys have only one X chromosome, a single fragile X is likely to affect them more severely. You can have fragile X syndrome even if your parents do not have it.
“Brian has to be assisted in day-to-day activities such as cooking,” said Trammell, of Wallins Creek. “He is able to do things like loading and unloading the dishwasher, taking his own showers and things such as that. Brian loves to fish. He, his dad and I like to share this activity together. We have five Tennessee Walker horses and Brian loves to help water and feed them with his dad.
“There is just no where for Brian to go and interact with others such as himself. If there was a center where he could go just one or two days a week it would be so nice for him. He gets so bored. It would be good for him to socialize with young adults his age and not necessarily with much older adults. He loved going to high school because he loved being around kids. He’s mentally always going to be a kid. He never sees a stranger. If he has seen you once, he almost always remembers your face. He’s a very friendly person.”
Trammell works as a secretary at the Harlan County Extension Service. She began working for the extension office in 1974 in the basement of the old Harlan County Courthouse. She left and worked about eight years for Concentrated Employment Training Agency, and then came back to the extension office in 1989. She is a James A. Cawood High School graduate.
“I love to read, but don’t have a lot of time for that,” said Trammell. “I have to spend a lot of time with my son planning things for him to do. I am a member of the Wallins Christian Church where I’m in charge of their flower fund. My husband is a coal miner. Together, we try to protect and provide for our son Brian. It’s hard sometimes, but to see that sweet smile of his sometimes makes it all worthwhile.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org