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Jake Is Super Hero Strong

Jake receives his immunoglobulin therapy

Five-year-old Jake loves the Avengers. He tells everyone that he is like the Hulk because he receives “special blood to make him strong.” And Jake does receive special treatment to make him strong like a super hero. He was diagnosed with Specific Antibody Deficiency in December 2012, and he now receives immunoglobulin (Ig) therapy to keep him strong.

From the age of 18 months old, Jake had 30 infections all requiring steroids and antibiotics, five bouts of pneumonia, adenoidectomy and sinus surgery before finally being diagnosed. It took a long time to diagnose him because his IgG levels were low 620's but not low enough to be immune deficient. He also kept losing the antibodies to vaccines, which is how he was eventually diagnosed.

“It's been a long, frustrating road, but my son is so tough,” says Jake’s mom Megan, “He is extremely bright and our brilliant immunologist's best and youngest patient.”

Megan and her husband, Jeff, were able to find helpful information on the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) website and ordered IDF’s children's book, Our Immune System.

Jake and his mom, Megan

They advise other parents of children with chronic illnesses to keep a record of their children’s infections. Megan suggests, “Request your records and separate all of the specialists in a binder. I made a cheat sheet of each time Jake was sick and what antibiotics/steroids were used, so that I could answer questions in office, while also tending to my son. I would hand the print out to the doctors, and they loved having all of the information in a document that was in front of them instead of flipping through records. I used a word document and organized by date. I highlighted the surgeries to stand out.”

Whether parents use a binder system like Megan or organize records online through the IDF eHealthRecord, which is specifically designed for patients living with primary immunodeficiency diseases, keeping track your child’s health information is vital.

Megan’s mother was diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency when she was in her late 40’s. She has been receiving Ig for nine years. “She has been so amazing and given us guidance on what to expect. I believe Jake gets his strength from her,” explains Megan.

Jake gets his strength and inspiration from many, like his mom, dad, little sister, grandmother and, of course, his favorite Avenger, Captain America, who always helps others and is a nice guy.

Little sister Cameron and big brother Jake

Megan says, “Jake is already our little superhero and his little sister Cameron's Captain America. He has never complained about the hours infusing or the monthly blood work. I think he thinks that every kid does this. I laugh because his sister cries during his routine lab work, and he is comforting her. He is truly an old soul.”

Megan and Jeff admit that it’s been a challenging few years, but they are happy that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for their little super hero.

Thank you, Megan and Jeff, for sharing Jake’s story! Would you like to share your story on IDF’s blog? Click here to submit your story.

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Jake is certainly an inspiration. What a brave boy.....and brave mommy!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for sharing this story!!! My family has been going through the same thing with my son. My son is 7. It has been a long haul. You understand. Thanks for sharing.

You are my little super-hero Jakie and i'm so proud of you! All the angels and St Michael are standing beside you to help you fight this and you WILL get better! Stay strong! Love always, Grandma Joy :)

Jake you are a Super Hero in every way. My daughter has been diagnosed with Lupus & auto immune she is 40 & Mother of 3 beautiful children You are an inspiration to her as she will NOW finally get the treatment she needs. I will be posting this for all to understand this disease. Nancy Lasher