On News 4 WOAI, we introduced you to Megan and Avery, survivors of Primary Immune Deficiency Disease. Best known as the condition that affected Bubble Boy David Vetter
, there are roughly about 250,000 people in the U.S. living public lives with P.I.D.D. People with P.I.D.D. are born with a limited or impaired immune system, which hampers their ability to fight germs.
The Immune Deficiency Foundation
, or I.D.F., has been an instrumental organization in helping the community gain a broader understanding of this condition. I.D.F. also advocates for funding, research and resources to provide improved medical treatment options for those living with P.I.D.D.
Patients like Megan and Avery call I.D.F. their life line, as the organization has helped many patients live full, independent lives. A Recurring Infection
According to The World Health Organization, there are more than 150 primary immunodeficiency diseases, some that affect just one cell of the body, others that are more complex. They can affect any part of the body from the skin, sinuses, ears, lungs, brain, intestinal tracts and spine. Symptoms of P.I.D.D. include a recurring infection or one that increases in severity. It's a disorder that affects many young children and often goes undiagnosed. The consequences of not knowing can be fatal in many cases. Here are some other questions to consider:
Do the same symptoms keep coming back or never seem to completely clear?
Is the infection severe enough to require hospitalization or intravenous antibiotics?
Is there a family history of early infant death or of susceptibility to infection?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your physician to test you or your child for P.I.D.D.
Plasma donations are also critical to many patients living with P.I.D.D. To learn more about donating plasma, log on to www.donatingplasma.org. People can generally donate every 7 to 10 days.
To learn more about P.I.D.D. and the Immune Deficiency Foundation, call 1-800-296-4433 or log on to www.primaryimmune.org. Zumba for Zebras
The Zumba for Zebras
campaign aims to bring more awareness to diagnosing P.I.D.D. Why Zebras? I.D.F. says patients with P.I.D.D. are like zebras in the medical world. While many doctors focus on the likeliest possibilities (horses) when making a diagnosis, more doctors need to think "zebras" and look for the unusual possibilities.
On Sunday, February 26th, there will be a local Zumba for Zebras fundraiser at Woodlawn Lake Park Gym, benefitting I.D.F. The event is from 1 - 3 p.m. and includes a two-hour Zumba class, a chance to win some free giveaways. All ages are welcome. Tickets are $10. To purchase tickets or for more information, call local I.D.F. volunteer Melody Medellin at 210-831-1704. Woodlawn Lake Park Gym is located at 1103 Cincinnati.