“It is an honor to be awarded the Cure JM Hero Award” says Alderfer. “But Katherine and the other children battling Juvenile Myositis are the real heroes. They are the reason we will never stop fighting to find a cure.”Katherine Alderfer was a normal, healthy 3 year old when suddenly everything changed. Katherine was experiencing leg pain and began vomiting and choking on her food. Then Katherine got a really bad rash on her face, feet, fingers and toes. Suddenly, she could hardly get up the stairs in the house and was extremely fatigued. Something was wrong, but no one knew what. Then soon after her fourth birthday, Katherine was diagnosed with Juvenile Myositis.
Juvenile Myositis is a rare and incurable autoimmune disease that can cause severe muscle weakness, fatigue, organ failure and even lead to death. 17,000 children are battling Juvenile Myositis in the U.S. alone. Juvenile Myositis is often treated with potent corticosteroids, IV treatments, immunosuppressants and chemotherapy that can cause severe medical complications. While some patients enter into remission, many children remain on these medications permanently.
Katherine’s parents decided to fight back against Juvenile Myositis by getting involved with Cure JM.
“Kristine has held several fundraisers including Christmas Shop for Cure JM and Rockbottom Warsaw,” says Cure JM Foundation Chairman Rhonda McKeever. “Kristine also helped represent parents and children in March for the resolution recognizing Juvenile Myositis Day by the Indiana State House of Representatives. Kristine is known for promoting awareness with compassion and enthusiasm throughout the JM community. For this we were proud to award her the Cure JM Hero Award.”
The 2nd Annual Christmas Shop for Cure JM is on Nov. 2. It will be held in the Sacred Heart School gym in Warsaw, Indiana. The shop opens at 9am and will include many wonderful vendors, raffle items, bake sale, entertainment and a kids’ zone to keep the children busy while the parents shop. 100% of proceeds go to the Cure JM foundation.
Says Katherine’s mother, “Fortunately, there are a few researchers in the world who ARE focused on finding a cure. Hopefully, raising funds will help them find a cure faster.”
The Cure JM Foundation is a volunteer-managed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Juvenile Myositis (JM). The Cure JM mission is to provide support for families coping with JM, raise awareness of JM, and fund research that will ultimately lead to a cure. Cure JM is the only organization that solely supports JM research and JM families.
Through nationwide grassroots fundraising efforts, the Cure JM Foundation has raised over $5 million for JM research. These funds have been used to help establish JM research centers at both Chicago Children’s Memorial Research Center and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In addition, the Cure JM Foundation has funded a wide range of genetic and JM treatment studies, as well as fellowships. Our goal is to never, ever let another child suffer with Juvenile Myositis. For more information on Cure JM go to www.curejm.org.