BENEFITING: Immune Deficiency Foundation
“There is something very wrong with your immune system.” Those were the words of an immunologist when I was first diagnosed with a Primary Immunodeficiency Disease in the spring of 2008. The diagnosis answered so many questions that had troubled my family for years. We now knew why I got frequent infections starting at the age of 9 months and why it often took a couple of rounds of antibiotics and sometimes IV antibiotics to clear a single infection. It explained why I had so many opportunistic infections while other family members weren’t affected and remained healthy. We understood now why common “bugs” and viruses could become quite serious overnight and how simple cuts and scrapes could turn into complex infections. The diagnosis gave us something to blame for all the school days missed, birthday parties I couldn’t attend, activities I couldn’t take part in, and being a regular in the ER, hospital, and doctor’s office.
We would understand in the years to come why I would be diagnosed with not one but two autoimmune diseases. We would come to accept the fact that this is a life long condition that will require regular monitoring and treatment. We would discover how my future could have been much different. At the time of my diagnosis, one question we still did not have an answer to was, “Why did it take over 20 years for a physician to notice something wasn’t right and run the appropriate tests to make the diagnosis of a Primary Immunodeficiency Disease?” This is why I am asking you to help me raise money for IDF. Awareness, education, and research are key to diagnosing Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases in the early stages. When diagnosed early, many patients are able to lead rather normal lives. When the diagnosis is delayed for years, the results are often devastating. These patients are much more likely to develop autoimmune conditions, cancer, lung disease, and other serious health complications.
By raising awareness and providing doctors and the public with education, we can help make sure every child is diagnosed early to provide them with the best opportunity to lead a fully productive life. Through research, we can help specialists better understand and develop new cures for the more serious Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases. Please help brighten and change the future for children affected by PIDD by making a donation to IDF so that the awareness, education, and research necessary will receive the funding needed and deserved. If you are unable to make a donation at this time, please help raise awareness by sharing my story with your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Just by raising awareness, we can all help change the future. Go zebras!