February 02, 2017
Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rare and life-threatening autoimmune disease. The body's immune system attacks its own cells and tissues causing inflammation.
Laina was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis one month before her 5th birthday. It took us two years, seven different doctors, three hospitals and two different states to finally get the answers we were searching for. This disease causes such severe muscle weakness Laina could barely walk by the time we got her to the doctor she needed. Additionally, she had severe arthritis in her hands and other areas of her body. She also displayed the "typical" facial rash & inflammed capilaries, which allowed Dr. Santiago (Rheumatologist) to diagnose within five minutes of seeing us for the very first time. The treatment process was quite aggressive at the beginning, we stayed at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg FL for several days. The physical improvement was noticeable almost immediately. After three days of intense steroids, she was able to walk and get out of bed with less assistance. Now just over a year and a half later she is doing things I had once wondered if she would ever be able to; walking up stairs, running, jumping, writing, cutting with scissors, buckling her own seat belt. Because there is no cure for JDM our current struggle is remission. Long term use of steroids is harmful to the body, and unfortunately each time we have tried to lower doses she experiences a relapse. There aren't a lot of treatment options available for kids with myositis that is why Walk Strong to Cure JM is important to our family. Funds raised for Cure JM can help aide more research for potentially better treatment options. There is no cure for JDM. The research conducted to find effective treatment methods is all possible because of donations. By raising money to help fund Cure JM we hope to one day have a cure!
Cure JM Foundation® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on finding a cure for Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) and Juvenile Polymyositis (JPM), the rare and life-threatening autoimmune diseases collectively known as Juvenile Myositis (JM).