Connor Speir has faced his fair share of adversity.
In the seven months since he was diagnosed with a rare bone disease, he has attended school in a wheelchair, underwent surgery, used a walker and had to wear a clunky device that held his bones in place, the York Daily Record is reporting.
But the hardest part was watching his older brother Matthew, 11, play soccer while he sat on the sidelines.
Today, the 8-year-old from Dover, Pa., can finally walk again, according to the report.
Connor, who was diagnosed with Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease in October, must wear a brace that extends the length of his legs. Nonetheless, his physical therapist, Chris Borsa of the Orthopedic and Spine Specialists in York Township, Pa., said Connor’s hard work is paying off – he will be back on the soccer field in a few months.
"He's plugging away," Borsa said. "He's a pretty tough kid."
Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease affects children between the ages of two and 12, and is relatively rare, according to the National Osteonecrosis Foundation.
It affects an estimated one in every 1,200 children, according to statistics on the Web site.
According to the Foundation, the disease occurs when blood doesn’t reach a certain spot in the ball-and-socket connection between the leg and hip and portions of the bone tissue die, the York Daily Record reports.
If left untreated, it can cause arthritis.