From the Fall of 2015 through the Spring of 2016, the Tri-Village Lions Facebook page told the ongoing story of Sydney Harrison, and her battle against Juvenile Myositis (JM). Sydney, the daughter of Tri-Village Lions Sandi and Zack Harrson, was just four years old when she was diagnosed with this potentially devastating, and very rare disease. JM is a life-threatening disease which causes the body’s own immune system to attack healthy cells and tissues. It can cause pain, weakness, inability to walk and disfigurement. It can affect virtually any system of the body, the heart, lungs, skin, muscles, and more. For months, Sydney spent one day a week down at Nationwide Children’s Hospital receiving IVIG treatments to fight the progression of the disease. By the end of that time, we were thrilled to report that Sydney had been officially declared “in remission.” She no longer needed active treatment, but we knew that remission was not the same as a cure. And we NEED a cure.
The Tri-Village Lions joined TeamSydneyForACure (an online fundraising campaign through crowdrise.com), and with the help of Lions, family, and friends, saw more than $10,000 raised to support research for a cure. The Tri-Village Lions have been holding a number of fundraisers in the intervening time (including an annual Visit to Santa’s Workshop) with funds earmarked to support the CureJM foundation. That was then – this is now.
Shortly after the first of the year, doctors confirmed that Sydney is having a “flare” in her JM. Translation – she is no longer in remission. This brave little girl is back in active treatment. It is hoped that they will be able to get things under control more quickly this time, but it provides a grim reminder that the danger continues for Sydney and all the other children diagnosed with JM until we find a cure. So it is time to ratchet up our efforts to support research that can bring about a permanent solution.
Lions Sandi and Zack are serving as Co-Presidents of a multi-state chapter of the CureJM organization, and were already planning a fundraiser, here in Columbus, for late April. The “Walk Strong to CureJM” family fun event and fundraising walk will be held on April 27, 2019 at Glacier Ridge Park in Plain City. The event is free, and open to the public. The Tri-Village Lions will be out there helping on the day of the walk, but we invite Lions from throughout OH-5 to join with us and make a difference – for Sydney Harrison and all the other children who live with JM.
How can you help? You can go to the newly established online fundraising site (https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/team-sydney5 ) and contribute directly, as an individual or through a contribution from your club. Or you can come out and walk with us on April 27, and take pledges from friends and neighbors to contribute in support of your efforts. How about getting the youngsters in your LEO club to take pledges and come out on that Saturday morning to join us for the event? If you would like more information about Juvenile Myositis, or would like to have a speaker for an upcoming meeting of you LEO or Lions Club, please contact Lion Zack Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lion Jane Jarrow (JaneJarrow@aol.com). In the meantime, please watch for our posts to the Tri-Village and OH-5 Facebook pages as we continue to chronicle Sydney’s struggle.
WE NEED A CURE!!!
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