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Boy With Rare Genetic Disorder Organizes Drive After Finding Comfort In Books

CALABASAS ( — Joshua Solis of Calabasas is like most 5-year-old boys, but he's dealing with a rare condition.

It's called multiple hereditary exostoses, a genetic disorder in which tumors form on bones.

"He will periodically complain of pain of a little bit of pain like behind his knee if he's taking stairs or if he's had a really long day," said Joshua's mother, Mary Solis.

She would know.

She also suffers from the condition. While her two older daughters don't, she knows the pain and surgeries that are in store for her son.

"These tumors can affect growth of the bones. They can affect the angle of the joints. They can cause limbs to be shorter or longer," Daniel Allison, an orthopedic surgeon, said.

At just 2 years old, Joshua had surgery on his right wrist. Last year, he had surgery on his left.

"Generally it will stop growing as he stops growing, but it will be something he has to manage his whole life," his mother said.

It was during those visits to Children's Hospital Los Angeles that they discovered the Literally Healing room that gives a new book every day to every patient.

"While we were waiting for Joshua's surgery, there were books available so it was something for us to take our mind off of things," she said. "When Josh was waiting for appointments, he was able to have a book."

"It's helped me really kind of makes me happy," Joshua said.

That's why Joshua and his mother have rallied volunteers and organized a star-studded book fair and drive to give hundreds of books back to CHLA.

"In getting immersed into a book and kinda getting out into a different world and learning more, I think, does a great job to help them with their recovery and their spirits," the doctor said.

The drive is scheduled to take place on Wednesday at the Calabasas Library from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Founders Hall.

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