Musician gets help with bone disease

March 20, 2008 8:08:21 PM PDT
A very talented young man with a rare bone disorder is getting some help.

Riley Finley is a 12-year-old violinist from Vallejo, and his fans say he's already a virtuoso. But his bones are so weak they easily break. On Thursday, Riley received a gift that will help make him more comfortable.

Despite appearances, nobody is perfect. Not even Riley Finley of Vallejo, who is a 12-year-old virtuoso with a violin music scholarship from U.C. Berkeley -- as he knows too well.

"Everybody's got something in life to deal with," said musician Riley Finley.

Osteo genesis imperfecta it's a genetic disorder that leading to brittle bones that break in children. If you have it, there's a 50 percent chance of passing it on. In Riley's family of eight children, seven have it.

ABC7's Wayne Freedman: "What does it take to break a bone?"

"Not much, a slip, a fall," said Riley's mother Karen Finley.

Riley figures he's broken fifty bones, by now, not counting fingers; the worst of them are with his cousin Jimmy, who also has the condition.

"Well he was just carrying me, he picked me up and then he snapped his femur," said Riley's cousin Jimmy Reano.

ABC7's Wayne Freedman: "What's a femur?"

"The biggest bone in his body.

"Broke it?" asked Freeman.

"Snapped it," said Jimmy Reano.

Now there is a twist that will make you smile, because warm water therapy helps the condition. And when his mother learned of a program sponsored by Thermospas to help kids in need, she wrote a letter.

"And basically I poured my heart out about this disease," said Karen Finley.

"What moved us with Riley is he was becoming a great musician," said Trevor Hitch from ThermoSpas.

He is gifted musician, who can now practice in less pain from joints and muscles and who has dreams.

"I want to be either a conductor or doctor," said Riley Finley.

One who can say he appeared at Carnegie Hall, later this year, assuming he survives his younger cousin.

ABC7's Wayne Freedman: You wouldn't splash anyone in here, would you?

"I would," said Reano.