A 5-year-old Ooltewah boy is in a battle for his life, but it doesn't get him down.

Grayson loves to play with his coffee set. He’s all smiles at home in his playroom with his big brother, Cooper.

"He just has a smile that he lights up a room, and he's always full of joy," his mom, Laura Ledbetter, said.

Moments like these are precious for the Ledbetter family.

With his contagious laugh, you wouldn't be able to tell, but Grayson is fighting for his life.

He was diagnosed with Alexander disease in February 2017.

It’s an extremely rare terminal brain disease that causes one to gradually lose the ability to walk, talk, and eat.

Laura first heard about it when Grayson was diagnosed, "that shook our family to the core. That was a big change."

Right now, there is no treatment and very little funding.

"These children push us to fight more, to tell more people, and to ask them to climb along with us and help," urged Laura.

She’s urging people to climb along on Grayson's Ladder, the campaign the Ledbetter family set up last November to help find a cure.

Money raised goes to a group of doctors doing research on Alexander disease. In just 4 months, they have raised more than $100,000 for kids like Grayson.

For Laura, it's more than a fundraiser. It's hope.

"So that gives us considerable hope that in Grayson's lifetime, he will have the opportunity to have a treatment," she said.

For now, Grayson will continue playing, and his family will enjoy every minute.

"Of course, we have lots of emotional moments, but we haven't lost hope,” Laura added. “We definitely have not lost joy because he's tangible joy."

The Ledbetter family hopes to raise $1 million in 2018.

For more information on the disease or to donate, visit Grayson’s Ladder's website.