With the spread of Covid-19, it seems as though everyone is becoming aware of the importance of our immune systems. And those who are immune compromised are front and center of this crisis.
There are many causes of immune system failure. Certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes can reduce immune response. The immune system can be suppressed by many medications and treatments such as anticancer drugs, radiation therapy, and stem cell or organ transplants. However, one little known condition is caused by genetics, and unfortunately that's what I have.
Primary Immune Deficiency (PID), is a group of conditions classified as “rare”. In 2012, I was finally diagnosed with a PID that is a genetic condition, after years of illnesses. My body simply doesn't make antibodies against an invading infection, and we suspect I inherited it from my mother. Frequent antibiotic use finally took a toll and I almost died from an intestinal infection. I'm lucky to be alive.
Treatment for my condition is similar to convalescent plasma, another term you may now be familiar with now. Every 4 weeks, I spend a day getting this plasma intravenously. After a recovery day, the rest of my life is reasonably normal. Except for masks, hand washing and social distancing, which have been part of my life since diagnosis.
If you have read this far, thank you! And please wear a mask in public! Latest research shows that if everyone wears a mask, we can beat this pandemic in 6-8 weeks!
Meanwhile, for folks like me, the Immune Deficiency Foundation provides support and information for patients and their families. I am supporting them via the first annual Walk For PI in Denver, which will be an online event on September 12! I hope you can support them, too, with a donation in any amount! Thank you!
The Immune Deficiency Foundation is dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of persons with primary immunodeficiency.
Please help me support IDF by making a contribution to my fundraiser and sharing this page with your family and friends. Every dollar I raise will advance Immune Deficiency Foundation's great cause!
Together, we can make a difference!