Local mom starts group to help families like her's connect - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local mom starts group to help families like her's connect

Amarillo, TX - Since her daughter was diagnosed with Primary Immune Deficiency, one local mother and her daughter have felt isolated.

Three months ago, Amy Gilbert decided to stop feeling alone, and to reach out to other families just like her's.

Ever since her daughter was born something just wasn't right...

"My daughter, the first five years of her life, she spent in the hospital, literally she got an infection the day after she was born," said Amy Gilbert who is the Administrator of the Panhandle Immune Deficiency Foundation.

And then when her daughter was ten years old, she was diagnosed with Primary Immune Deficiency.

"Immune Deficiency means that the Immune System is unable to fight infections, that can be genetic or acquired," Dr. Constantine Saadeh with Allergy ARTS in Amarillo said.

That was seventeen years ago, now at 27 her daughter still has to receive injections of immune cells twice a week.

"It's not fun, it can be painful, the side effects are not fun, they last through the next day, so you can imagine, my daughter loses four days out of every week," said Gilbert.

And because of this, many times the disease means isolation.    

"We found that when my daughter was younger, we were isolated a lot because obviously people with immune deficiencies don't go roaming out all the time," Gilbert explained.

Then Gilbert got the idea to start a Panhandle chapter of the Immune Deficiency Foundation, in order to provide information to other families going through the same experience and to help one another connect.

"We are hoping to bring out the people in the Panhandle with Immune Deficiency so that we can point them in the direction of information, resources, doctors, and offer a line of support," said Gilbert.

The Panhandle Immune Deficiency Foundation has partnered with Groovy Popcorn to sell a specialty popcorn which a portion of the sales will go to the Foundation.

And they are also selling bracelets for one dollar at various locations around town.
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