Autoimmune hepatitis, formerly called lupoid hepatitis, is a chronic, autoimmune disease of the liver that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks liver cells causing the liver to be inflamed. — Wikipedia
I’m going to step away from the hauntings and the paranormal work. This article isn’t about the Vampire Community. No tongue in cheek comments or snarky remarks. This one is a little too personal for me.
I want to take a moment to write about a disease called Autoimmune Hepatitis. It’s an uncommon disease that affects one in a hundred thousand people. Mostly women and most people who have some other underlying auto-immune disease.
In rare cases it attacks children under the age of fourteen, for them, it’s more aggressive and more dangerous. There are one hundred and forty known cases of paediatric AIH in the United States.
Moreover, there is no cure.
The Sad Reality
AIH doesn’t care if you’re white or black. Male or female, young or old. There are no known triggers and no known warning signs. It can come like a thief in the night. AIH is a relatively young disease.
It wasn’t “discovered” until the 1970s, and back then there were no treatments. Once diagnosed patients were given months maybe years to live. You see, AIH is when the Immune system attacks the body relentlessly.
In this case, it attacks the liver, causing non-alcoholic cirrhosis and ultimately death. Today there are autoimmune inhibitors that suppress the immune system from doing its job. It can lead to longer lives in patients, but not without risk.
With no immune system, the human body is open to infect and left untreated or not caught in time can lead to all sorts of medical problems.
Imagine if you will for a moment you are in the classroom, and your friend sneezes unexpectedly. He or she apologizes and says they’re coming down with something. You’ve just been exposed to a potential killer, and your friend isn’t even aware.
With no immune system, you can’t fight off that cold they may have spread to you. With no immune system a cold becomes a fight for survival and the flu, forget it.
Now you say, well Artemis you said they could take those autoimmune inhibitors to stop the immune system from attack their liver, so they’re ok right? I did. However, those medicines come with a price tag all their own. Moreover, it’s a steep one. See, autoimmune inhibitors do a very unnatural thing to the human body.
Our immune system wasn’t meant to be shut down. Those medicines cause cancer. I recently spoke with a doctor at Virginia’s Children Hospital of the King’s Daughters. We’ll say CHKD for short.
Who said that it doesn’t even matter if these medications will cause cancer when it’s a question of when.
The Shorter Life
Since a patient has to stay on these medications for a year to stay alive the longer they remain on them, the longer the exposure. Remember we are talking about children. I recently read a blog from a mother whose two-year-old son was diagnosed with this disease.
At two he will be on autoimmune suppressants for the rest of his life. Which most doctors in this field say is anywhere between ten and twenty years. Older patients, the ones with those underlying diseases don’t even survive that long.
Ok, so why my rant. Why talk about such a depressing disease, because people don’t know about it. Because there is so little money to be made off of finding a cure for this disease that few foundations even exist.
We all jump up and down for Little Eric Foundation — September is paediatric cancer awareness month. We all wear our pink in October. So when are we going to start showing off purple and gold, the official autoimmune disease ribbon colors?
Yes, of course. I know a little girl with this disease. Two years ago she was a bright-eyed dreamer. She wanted to dance and travel the world. Last year she learned she had a disease that would kill her in time.
Now, she wears a mask to school to help prevent her from getting sick, and she’s packed up her ideas of traveling because she can’t have any live vaccinations to get her passport. She’s fourteen years old and most likely will never see forty.
It’s gut wrecking to see that there are diseases like this in the world and that we are still powerless to do something about them.
Below is a link I’m sharing to help show this little girl and her family some support and love. AIH can be a lonely disease. Consider being Part of the Pack.