January 25, 2011, seven children with primary immunodeficiency diseases and their families were given a VIP evening by the Pittsburgh Penguins as they met head coach Dan Bylsma, hung out with NHL officials in their locker room and had their very own suite to watch the game.
Bryan Bylsma, son of Dan and Mary Beth Byslma, is diagnosed from the Selective IgA Deficiency. When they discovered that their own son suffered from the illness, the Bylsmas became much more aware that there were others out there as confused as they were about immunodeficiency diseases. Mary Beth organized the event as a collaboration between the National Hockey League Officials Association and IDF.
The event gave the children the opportunity to enjoy themselves and socialize with others their own age who are affected by PIDD. A mother who attended, Lisa Cross, commented, “It is a very nice way for the families to get together, have some fun and get to watch a great team.”
Mary Beth and Dan not only brought a lot of joy to these children, but also organized a wonderfully creative way to bring the community together and raise awareness of primary immunodeficiency diseases! It is amazing what innovative ways you can come up with to advocate, educate, and raise awareness if you think about the resources at your disposal.
Please let IDF know if you are involved in any Community in Action activities in your community. Comment below or fill out the Contact form at the top of the page to have your story featured in a future blog post. To learn more about ways you can get involved, please visit the website at www.primaryimmune.org .