The first sign came during a basketball game. Five-year-old Brysen Mills, normally an energetic cheerleader for his older brother’s team, lay quietly on a bed of coats stacked on the bleachers and complained that his legs hurt.

He continued to complain of pain the following day and stayed home from school. His mother, Lesley, chalked his discomfort up to growing pains or perhaps overdoing it while playing in the snow a few days earlier.

 

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