Dr. Mark Holterman is one of the people who established The Hannah Sunshine Foundation, a non-profit organization. According to Holterman, The Hannah Sunshine Foundation places its primary focus on the use and development of regenerative and cellular therapies to help children suffering from rare diseases. The founders of the organization drew their inspiration from three young people, among them a 23-year old woman who was afflicted by the disorder Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA).
What Is SJIA?
SJIA is a dominant subtype of the disorder juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). On its part juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that affects children. Mark explains in an article on his blog that there are several kinds of the disease, with all of them causing long-term inflammation of the joints. The first symptoms start before a child reaches 16 years old, with the inflammation lasting at least six weeks.
SJIA is known as an ‘idiopathic’ disorder, which means that its cause is unknown. He says that the disease could afflict one or more joints and could also cause other symptoms including rash or fever. Unlike the other kinds of JIA, this condition affects other organs in the body such as the lungs, heart, and liver besides inflaming the joints.
Control of SJIA
In the article, Dr. Mark Holterman explains that although there is no known cure for the disease currently, there are treatments available to control SJIA. When managing the disease, doctors focus on getting the patient to a state of permanent remission; this is a state where someone afflicted shows no clinical signs or symptoms. He encourages early and aggressive treatment when the disease is active to prevent permanent damage to the joints.
About Dr. Holterman
Mark Holterman, MD, is a pediatric surgeon and has served as one of the members of the general surgical team at the OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital since 2011 (https://interview.net/dr-mark-holterman/). Besides, he is a professor of pediatric surgery at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Peoria. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Mariam Global Health, a specialist in regenerative medicine and has a strong interest in developing cell-based therapies.