According to a story from the Warwick Beacon, the first ever primary immunodeficiency (PI) awareness and fundraising walk in Rhode Island’s history was held recently at Warwick City Park. The event was held in support of the Immune Deficiency Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports patients with immunodeficiencies. The youngest patient at the event, Mike “Mikey” Mollis, aged just five months, was a central figure at the event. He was born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).
About Primary Immunodeficiency
Primary immunodeficiency describes a group of disorders which are characterized by some degree of dysfunction of the immune system. These diseases are generally the result of genetic abnormalities and are not the result of other conditions or external factors. In some cases, they may remain latent until a certain environmental trigger causes problems to appear. The symptoms of these disorders may vary considerably in severity and depend on the specific subtype. However, some symptoms may include chronic, persistent infections, developmental delays due to infection, dysfunction of certain organs, and increased vulnerability to autoimmune disorders or blood cancers such as lymphoma. Treatment of most types of primary immunodeficiency is symptomatic and supportive; patients may be told to take steps to avoid exposure to pathogens; medications to enhance immune function and fight infections are also used. To learn more about primary immunodeficiency, click here.
The youngster was seen smiling cheerfully at passers-by in the arms of his mother and later in a special stroller with a plastic barrier that keeps him safe from outside infectious agents. Mikey will soon begin treatment for his disease that will start with chemotherapy so that he can eventually undergo a bone marrow transplant.
Lois Crudden, who was instantly recognizable in her zebra striped pants, is a volunteer with the Immune Deficiency Foundation and played a major role in the planning of the event. She is also a patient, and has a form of primary immunodeficiency called common variable immunodeficiency. Lois was diagnosed at age 50. She has been working with the foundation for the last five years and hopes to build upon the success of the event.
To learn more about the Immune Deficiency Foundation, click here.