IDF volunteer Yvette Shorten of Huntsville, TX participated in three different events in just two weeks to promote primary immunodeficiency diseases awareness and raise funds for IDF. Yvette addressed the congregation at her church, St. Paul United Methodist Church, April 22. Then she organized IDF Blue Jeans for Healthy Genes at Sam Houston State University April 25, raising $500. Finally she braved the Texas heat for a local Cinco De Mayo festival May 5.
Yvette, whose family has been directly affected by primary immune deficiency diseases, created a fantastic exhibit about her personal story and the IDF THINK ZEBRA! campaign, which she displayed at each event. She feels it’s important to tell her story and enjoys connecting with people. Yvette describes one such connection from the festival, “I met a lady who lost her sister as an infant to pneumonia. It was not until years later when she became ill did the physicians put the puzzle together…her sister had CVID.”
Yvette wanted to not only reach out to people and promote awareness, but she also wanted to raise funds for IDF. She had previously organized IDF Blue Jeans for Healthy Genes at Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, where she is an assistant program coordinator. This year she raised $500. Each participant donated $10 to wear jeans, and zebra accessories were encouraged. The event was promoted on the school’s website: http://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/T@S/2012/apr1512up.html.
The school’s website mentions a wonderful development in the state of Texas, making Yvette’s efforts even more poignant. Starting September 2012, Texas will be among several other states to implement newborn screening for SCID. “We fought for the last couple of years to get SCID on that test card, which screens for 28 different life-threatening diseases,” Yvette says, “If not treated, most of the SCID-effected infants die within the first year of life, but with the early detection, a bone marrow transplant can save the child’s life. This is why it was so important to have this added.”
A Texas-size thank you to Yvette and all those who supported her efforts!
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