About a month ago, I learned that there is a third known case of juvenile dermatomyositis here in Alameda, a six-year-old girl. Our small city of about 75,000 has three cases of a disease that is normally found in three kids out of a MILLION.
I couldn't really even write about it for a while because it just hit me like a punch in the gut. I felt simultaneously shocked, frustrated, and just very, very sad to think of another little girl, another family and all they will have to go through. I won't lie; sometimes it all just seems so... bottomless. Yet we have to keep moving forward, even if it's one teeny tiny little step at a time.
Through this, though, I was actually happy about one thing. The reason that I learned of this in the first place was the Pip Squeak A Go Go benefit we did for Cure JM last year. A friend that was involved with the event has a daughter at the same elementary school as this newly diagnosed girl, and through conversation with the girl's mom, she was able to connect the dots and realize it was the same disease. If we hadn't done that event, then we would never know about one another. And connecting with one another is powerful. So I feel really good that our efforts have paid off in this way. We are working hard on another event right now - it's coming up May 22 - and this experience has been really motivating to keep on chugging with this kind of thing. It really does make a difference.
I dearly hope that we can pull in even more people (and hopefully raise even more money) than we did last year. We're doing our best.