Brian Insko is a man that overcomes the odds. Born with Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis (CIPA), Brian deals with things few people experience. He does not feel pain and cannot regulate his own body temperature. The pain-sensing nerves in his brain are not properly connected to receive pain messages. He is very susceptible to getting an infection or injuring himself and not knowing there is an issue.
The odds of being born with CIPA are about 1 in 125 million, according to U.S. National Library of Medicine. Brian was not diagnosed until he was 4 years old. He would have an injury, and no one could explain how he got it. After multiple trips to the hospital, a doctor finally suggested he be checked for CIPA.
Living with this disease has always been tricky. Individuals can easily get injured without knowing they have been hurt. This is what happened with Brian. In July of 2011, Brian got an infection in his spine. What caused the injury is not clear, but he believes he had a back injury. By the time his infection was found, it was almost too late. Brian was close to death. He rallied and fought off the infection. However, he lost the use of his legs.
After 6 months off, Brian was ready to return to work. He was determined to overcome the odds again. He had been employed at STOBER on March 3, 2003, as an assembler. This job requires a lot of lifting and manual labor, but despite the challenge, he wanted to come back. “I’ve always thought people needed a reason to keep going. I wanted to work to give me a reason to keep going. As long as I can stay active and keep doing something, I’ll be alive. I wanted to keep contributing and be productive.”
Brian works second shift and assembles gearboxes at STOBER. His dad brings him to work every day. Not only has he kept working, but he has kept thriving. The average life expectancy for people with CIPA is about 25 years, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. In fact, nearly 20% of patients die within the first three years. Brian is 39.
Brian is looking to beat the odds once again—this time with fundraising. Brian’s hobbies include being outdoors, fishing, and playing with his niece and nephew—all of which are difficult to do in a wheelchair. “You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to be outside in a wheelchair. Many places don’t have anything that is handicap accessible. There are places that are paved, which is good. However, while the road or path may look like it is perfectly level, it isn’t. I will start wheeling down the path and go off course. Little things like leaves or sticks can make moving really hard. I get hung up on little objects.” His inability to go off road means he is limited in doing what he loves.
“I don’t want to do anything big. I just want to be able to fish with the kids. My nephew is becoming interested in hunting. I’d like to be able to go out with him and get him started squirrel hunting,” Brian stated.
Brian’s family is trying to raise money to buy him a 4×4 wheelchair. This motorized chair would allow him to go off paved surfaces and move freely on his own, without someone having to push him. “Having this would let me go where I want to go and do what I want to do. Having that freedom would just mean so much.”
That freedom comes at a price. Brian is trying to raise $20,000 so his time spent outdoors with his niece and nephew can be more enjoyable.
Help Brian continue to overcome the odds. Donation information below.
Payments can be made via PayPal to:
Ohio Valley Employee Assistance Foundation Inc
Checks can be made out to Ohio Valley Employee Assistance Foundation Inc
Ohio Valley Employee Assistance Foundation Inc.
3389 Minerva Tuckahoe Rd, Dover, Ky 41034