WILLARD, NC (WWAY) -- Losing a child to disease is hard enough, but one in our area family is fighting to avoid that horror again.
A local non-profit has stepped up to help them and other families in need, and you can help, too.
The Ritterbusch family says they have had their share of ups and downs, but the one thing they are sure of is that there are angels among us.
"Brent was larger than life," Jessica Ritterbusch said about her son. "Everything with Brent was special. Everything about him was special."
Brent Ritterbusch's family says he was a superhero.
We introduced you to the Ritterbusches last July when the Make-a-Wish Foundation redecorated his sister Lauren's bedroom. All of the Ritterbusch children suffer from mitochondrial disease, but Brent's condition got worse after our last visit.
"What happened with Brent is last summer, his immune system just crashed," Jessica said.
One week after our story aired, Brent was in the hospital, fighting for his life. March 9, Brent lost the fight.
"If I had one wish, it would be to have my buddy back," Jessica said.
Jessica and and her husband Roy say it's been hard since Brent died. Because their three other children have the same disease, they say they are constantly reminded of what Brent went through.
"I think you're grieving for not just him dying, but the five years that he suffered, trying to keep him alive," Jessica said.
Brent's family got support from a group called Dare to Care for Children. The organization provided money and support for the family while Brent was in the hospital.
The Ritterbusches say they hope the community will help Dare to Care so the non-profit can continue to support sick children like Brent.
"Nobody can give us what we want back, but to help other families... he would have wanted that," Roy said.
Brent's brothers and sister are doing well with the help of medicine and treatments.
If you would like to help the Dare to Care for Children Foundation raise money to help other families in need, you can bid on two pieces of music history. They are guitars signed by music legends James Brown and Whitney Houston.
The auction ends June 26. All the money raised goes to Dare to Care for Children and its work to help families in need.