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What is Kevin's actual medical diagnosis in Freak the Mighty?

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m99donofrio | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 7, 2011 at 10:43 AM via web

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What is Kevin's actual medical diagnosis in Freak the Mighty?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 24, 2012 at 5:40 AM (Answer #1)

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The main character of the novel Freak the Mighty, Kevin (aka Freak), suffers from the rare birth defect known as Morquio (or Morquio's) syndrome. It is also referred to as mucopolysaccharidosis IV. Kevin suffered from virtually all of the major symptoms, including dwarfism; heart problems (including enlarged and abnormal development); restricted skeletal development; and spinal cord compression. Other symptoms include large fingers, knock-knees, abnormally spaced teeth, joint problems, and flared ribs. At birth, children with Morquio's seem normal, and the abnormalities only begin to appear at the age of two or three. There are two forms: Type A and Type B. The disease was diagnosed by the Uruguayan Luis Morquio in 1929.

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zozobra1 | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 10, 2012 at 4:45 AM (Answer #2)

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Freak suffers from the disease known as Morquio Syndrome, which affects his metabolism.  The disease presents when the body is missing or doesn't have enough of a substance needed to break down long chains of sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (formerly called mucopolysaccharides).  There are many major symptoms (as seen above), including dwarfism and heart problems, etc. In layman’s terms, he grows faster on the inside than he does on the outside. 

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