A toddler’s rare skin condition led to a humiliating encounter at a California waterpark, according to his mother’s recent Facebook post.

Shannon Catalano’s 2-year-old son, Wyatt, suffers from diffuse cutaneous mastocytosis, a condition that causes widespread blistering on the body. Despite it not being contagious, several families at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park reportedly expressed their concerns to staff. Therefore, park employees sent EMTs to speak with Catalano’s husband.

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“I find it completely ridiculous that an employee had the time to call and wait for an EMT response, rather than approach us and ask us politely,” Catalano wrote on Facebook. “I deal with people who ask us about Wyatt on a regular basis and I'm so appreciative when someone asks, particularly when they ask nicely. I'm not appreciative of the adults who pick up and move their entire family away from ours after seeing our son, like a family did today.”

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Furthermore, in her post, which has now gone viral, she expresses how exhausting and frustrating the experience was. In the past, Catalano and her community have made efforts to bring awareness to Wyatt and his disease, including hosting a walk to raise money as well as creating an informative website educating the public about his condition. Yet, many people have still never heard of it.

What Is Diffuse Cutaneous Mastocytosis?

It’s a severe form of a condition known as mastocytosis, which occurs when mast cells accumulate in the skin and/or internal organs, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. The signs and symptoms vary depending on which subtype of the disease a person has, but they all primarily affect the skin. Diffuse cutaneous mastocytosis is the most severe form. Most cases of the disease aren’t inherited, but rather occur in a person who is born with a mutation in the KIT gene that can lead to overproduction of mast cells.

Signs And Symptoms

Most forms of cutaneous mastocytosis affect only patches of the skin, but the type Wyatt has usually affects all or most of the skin. The condition causes the skin to become thick and leathery, and vary in color from normal skin tone to yellowish-brown or red. Some people with the disorder will also experience hypotension, diarrhea, and anaphylactic shock, among other symptoms.

Gilroy Gardens apologized to Catalano, inquired about whether her family had memberships, and offered free ice cream, but she noted that it’s not about receiving anything free, but rather avoiding situations like the one she experienced and bringing awareness to the disease.

“Here's an idea for you Gilroy Gardens. Share what happened today at your Water Oasis. Train up those who you employ to recognize differences among people and better ways to handle situations where there might be fear, based on someone's differences and appearance,” Catalano wrote. “This boy Wyatt, my son, lives here and grows here. Help raise awareness about mastocytosis and Wyatt.”

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