For a long time in my family I was the only person who had an illness to deal with, until this past year. One of my younger cousins was diagnosed with an illness called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. This is the topic that I have chosen for my research paper. JDM is an auto immune disease that affects only a small number of children. There is not much known about the illness, and only three doctors in the country specialize in it. Although they do not know much about the illness itself, the can compare it to other autoimmune diseases and use the medications that are used to treat them.
For my strategies, I plan to talk about not only what JDM is but also all the advances about the illness. If there are any possible ways to cure it and all the current research that is being done about it. My choice of medium is going to be a written paper and I will produce the communication on a computer. After this, I will post it on my blog.
The argument that I hope to make is that people need to be more aware of illnesses. Sometimes people just think things will go away on their own and that they do not need a doctor or medication. In most cases if an illness is caught in time it can either mean that the illness can go away forever, or at least the person will not need as much medical assistance. Another argument is that health care and health insurance are both important. I hope that people will agree with both of my arguments. I also hope that it will teach people about JDM so that if they have it or someone that they know has it, they can notice the symptoms and save someone.
JDM is an autoimmune disease that can cause a skin rash and muscle weakness. Doctors do not know what the cause of it is but genetics has a factor. JDM is rare and affects only 17,000 children in the United States. What happens during JDM is lie any other auto immune disease, it just attacks differently. The immune system is defined as a system that protects the body from infection. It becomes overly active and starts to attack itself destroying healthy tissue. This causes inflammation of the blood vessels, which causes the rash, and inflammation of the muscles, which causes great pain. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for JDM but there are medications that can help with the symptoms. One common medication is called prednisone, it is a steroid. It helps take the inflammation away, but it has bad side effects. A few of them are, weight gain, mood swings and stunts growth. When taking prednisone there is not a quick way to get off the medication. Every day you have to wean yourself off of it, and if your symptoms come back then the medication goes up again. This can cause someone to be one the medication for years, and that is not good. Another medication that can be used is called Methotrexate, it is taken every week either orally with a pill or with an injection usually given in the leg or arm. The only bad that about this medication is that it is a chemotherapy drug. Most patients are put on a very low dose, so they do not get any chemo symptoms like hair loss.
I plan to conduct my research using the internet and statements from my cousin who has JDM. I can ask her if the website correctly depicts what it is like for someone to have JDM. One source that I will use I called curejm.org, I already did research on the website and found that it is a credible source.
I hope to learn about my topic, that there is some way that all auto immune diseases can be cured. I hope that through research they can find a cure. I would also like to learn what an everyday experience is for someone who has JDM and how they live with it everyday.