When you have an immunodeficiency disease, you’re very much at risk of getting an opportunistic infection because your immune system isn’t “scanning” your body’s cells to kill off abnormal or aplastic cells.
For most people, immunodeficiency is acquired as a result of extreme age, intended or unintended immunosuppression through the use of steroids, or environmental factors. This is known as “acquired immunodeficiency.” Some people, however, are born with this condition, in which case, the disorder is called “primary immunodeficiency,” or PID.
But what, exactly, is an immune system?
The immune system includes the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and tonsils. Each of these organs manufacture and release lymphocytes, which are white blood cells. I like to think of them as the soldiers of the bloodstream. The lymphocytes are broken down into two separate groups: B cells and T cells. These soldiers detect and attack antigens—namely bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and parasites. .
Like all rare diseases, finding a cure comes with a big price tag, but fortunately, the immunodeficiency community doesn’t miss a beat. The Immune Deficiency Foundation is sponsoring various walks throughout the United States in the Fall of 2017.
Cities hosting the walks include:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Kansas City
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- St. Louis
You can find out the dates, locations, times, and other information by clicking on the links above. So dust off your tennis shoes and start helping the IDF find a cure!