PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — "Right now you have a choice. You can either choose the disease or choose life. At six-years-old that is a big step to make," said Remington Walls.
Remington recalled the day when his mother, Stephanie, told him to make that decision and he had to grow up very fast.
"It was age four when Remington was taken off of food. Food was the enemy to his body," said Stephanie Walls.
Doctors diagnosed Remington with a rare disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). Simply put, he cannot eat or drink regular food because it makes him sick. Instead, he has an amino-acid based formula that comes in what looks like juice boxes. In order to get the nutrition his body needs to live, Remington has to drink 18 to 20 of them, a day.
"Growing up was tough. You know, you hang out with your friends and everything involves food, especially when you are younger. Birthday parties and after baseball games, parents would bring snacks," said Remington.
Instead of dwelling on what he could not do, Remington focused his attention on his love of baseball. He became a standout baseball player at Land O'Lakes High School and is now thriving as a freshman at Valdosta State in Georgia.
"I think it kind of took him away from the ugliness of his real world of not being able to eat," said Stephanie.
He also made the lessons his parents instilled in him on how to deal with his new normal, his mantra.
"That no matter what circumstance you have, there are no limitations. The limitations you have are the ones you put on yourself," said Remington.
The mother and son duo wrote the book, "Homeplate: A True Story of Resilience." In the book, they share the struggles and triumphs due to living with EoE throughout Remington's childhood. They hope this inspires other people to persevere through whatever challenges life hands them.
"I know that one day I will be healed. It's just not the time for that yet. Until then, I am going to keep living my life to the fullest and look forward to what is ahead of me," Remington read from the end of the book.
Currently, the Walls family advocates for changes to legislation to help families like them get the expensive formula needed for survival, paid for by insurance.
The family released the book on November 25. For more information on, "Homeplate: A True Story of Resilience," click here.