Rare genetic condition doesn't define 3-year-old boy

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -- Carter Stolfus is a typical three-year-old in so many ways. The boy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa has a lot of energy, loves to play and is very curious.

Carter suffers from a rare genetic disorder called ectodermal dysplasia or "ED." Specifically, a type called Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia. (Forrest Saunders/KCRG)

But what sets him apart from most is a rare genetic disorder called ectodermal dysplasia, or "ED." Specifically, it's a type called Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia.

Carter's teeth are malformed. His hair is very thin. He has skin conditions and he can't sweat. And that means he can't cool down properly.

"If it's warm out, he can only be out at snippets at a time," said Carter's dad, Jordan Stolfus. "Otherwise, he could go into shock and overheat."

Jordan and his fiancé have to be constantly watching for signs that this little guy is getting too warm, like rosy cheeks and red ears.

Despite all that, Carter will likely live a full life, free from any cognitive issues.

There is a worry, however. He's about to start preschool and Jordan thinks bullying is a real possibility.

"We live in a cruel world," said Jordan. "Just because he may look physically different from somebody else, my son is amazing. My son is beautiful."

Jordan said he's on a mission to spread ED awareness to let people know Carter is just a kid, like any other. It's why Jordan reached out to Gray affiliate KCRG in the first place.

"I was into a lot of bad stuff," said Jordan. "The moment that I found out that his mother was pregnant, I knew right then and there that I was going to change my life."

Jordan is now working to change his son's life, hopefully for the better by highlighting not what Carter has, but who he is.

There are medical costs associated with Carter's condition. Jordan said those who want to help can head to the GoFundMe site below.

Read the original version of this article at kcrg.com.