A Mother's Incurable Courage

Jacob and his mother Theresa Liao, are with Dr. John Wagner OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
CBS/The Early Show
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Theresa Liao has four children. Two of them have a disease that affects maybe one in a million kids. It's called Epidermolysis Bullosa. EB for short.

The flesh of a child with EB is so sensitive that if you merely brush against their skin it can blister and even fall off. The experts basically told Theresa there was nothing she could do for her boys. Prognosis for children with EB is not good. They often develop a kind of skin cancer and die.

But Theresa said, "Not my boys."

She immersed herself in research and found a doctor who specialized in incurable diseases and stem cell and bone marrow transplants, thrust one of her children in his arms, and said, "You must help him."

A shaken Dr. John Wagner agreed, and recently the younger of Theresa's two sick boys had what everyone hopes will be a breakthrough procedure.

We all assume we'll do what it takes to help our kids. Theresa Liao has set a new standard.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.