In 2014 my father, John Anderson, passed away from complications caused by Dermatomyositis. He was misdiagnosed early on, and his symptoms worsened greatly before an accurate diagnosis was given. Sadly, this lead to irreversible damage and conditions that could not be overcome. We believe that early intervention could have changed the outcome for my dad and prolonged his life, allowing him to live with his condition.
Dermatomyositis is a rare auto-immune disease that produces a tell-tale skin rash, along with gradual, severe weakening and breakdown of the body’s muscular system. Many doctors will work their entire career without ever seeing a case outside of a medical textbook. Its cause is unknown, and there are treatments, but no cure.
My fiancé, Andy, and my soon-to-be stepdaughter, Elizabeth, never had the opportunity to know my dad. Had they met, Dad would have loved them as his own, and they would have loved him right back. He was an incredibly kind, generous, humble, and handy man – everyone’s “go to” guy – and he was truly happy to be just that. He loved nothing more than to enjoy dinner out with my mom, help my brother and I with our home projects, dispense advice, and cheer on Hopkins lacrosse. He spent his career working as an electrician, and we used to tease him when we couldn’t pass a single building without hearing him say, “Hey, I wired that place!”
But lucky us. Because now that light – Dad’s light – is everywhere. His presence here on earth, as well as on our wedding day, is missed profoundly, but he lives on in so many of our hearts.
So in lieu of a wedding registry, we’d like to raise funds to support research and education programs within the medical community to promote awareness for Dermatomyositis, and to aid patients and their caregivers who are living with this disease.
We are so thankful to our family and friends for helping us to honor my dad.
Lisa and Andy