Maddie Dean developed a rash on her nose and cheeks, her cuticles were red and swollen, and she experienced muscle weakness that prevented her from climbing stairs, sitting up straight or standing from a sitting position. Her pediatrician confirmed that she had juvenile dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease.
Once at Riley Hospital for Children, she received a steroid infusion and prescribed multiple medications, including oral steroids. The treatment helped, but there were scary complications, including during a spin tap, when her vitals dropped, and she needed a crash cart. She was diagnosed with swelling around the optic nerve and prescribed more medication.
Today - she receives infusions every seven weeks at the Riley outpatient clinic, and her autoimmune disease is under control. She loves to try new activities and meet new people, has raised money for her hospital, for friends in need, and organized a drive for a local homeless shelter. Before her infusions, Maddie makes around 15-20 gifts. On the day of her infusion, she walks around with her IVIG pole and delivers the gifts to individuals like the pharmacists, cafeteria staff, volunteers and nurses. After handing out her gifts, Maddie - a gifted musician - sits at the piano in the clinic lobby and plays for everyone who visits.
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