BENEFITING: Cure JM Foundation
EVENT DATE: May 07, 2017
Jennifer Shimp wrote -
Jessica was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) in March of 2011. She was just 8 years old and in 2nd grade. After struggling for a long time to determine why she had several strange rashes on different places on her body, we finally received a diagnosis that changed our lives (and hers) forever. JDM is an extremely rare disease that only affects about 2 children in every million. It can affect virtually any system of the body: the heart, lungs, skin, muscles, and more. We were fortunate to find a leading doctor (Dr. Lauren Pachman) who studied this disease right here in Chicago through Lurie Children's Hospital. Jessica was immediately put on very strong medications in order to calm her immune system down and prevent it from attacking her body. For Jess, the disease was presenting itself in the form of rashes and muscle weakness. For about 2 1/2 long years, Jessica was put on very strong medications and infusions to calm her immune system down. She was doing great, feeling good and weaned off all of her medication! We were on our way to remission. In April of 2015, signs of her rash came back and we immediately began giving her topical medications to see if that would help. Unfortunately it did not and Jessica was then put on stronger oral medications. In September, she began monthly IVIG infusions. They are long, 10 hour days at the hospital, but we hope and pray that we are on the path to recovery and remission. Overall, Jessica feels good on a daily basis and just wants to enjoy life as a normal teenager. She loves singing and being part of the theater program at school which has been wonderful for her, especially since these are indoor activities. (Many people with JM / JDM have been advised to limit their exposure to UVA and UVB rays, as it can cause a flare up in their body.)
Walk Strong to Cure JM supports Cure JM's mission to find a cure for Juvenile Myositis. With support from friends and family like you, we’re getting closer to better treatments and finding a cure. Last year, we were able to fund research at 10 prestigious research institutions, helping to advance JM research at an unprecedented pace -- including important JM research right here in Chicago at Lurie Children's Hospital! Your gift now will keep that momentum going. Every donation goes straight to Cure JM, and over 91% of all funds raised go directly to research. So please join our team and the fight against JM today. Please help us FIND A CURE FOR JESSICA!