TJ Henderson is a student battling a rare autoimmune disorder called Dermatomyositis. Fewer than 2,000 people in the United States have this disorder which affects most systems in the body. The symptoms include severe weakness, pain, skin rash and shortness of breath. Through this, he has still found the strength and inspiration to fight for his quality of life and education, while trying to inspire others with his story along the way.
While working over the summer of 2013, Henderson noticed that something was starting to go wrong with his skin and strength. What at first was predicted to be a short break from work and school took only a month to transform into hospitalization and a diagnosis of the rare disorder Dermatomyositis. This disorder, which affects fewer than 2,000 people in the United States, has left Henderson with life-changing weakness, pain and breathlessness. Throughout this, he and his fiance have kept positive spirits and hope that one day the disorder might be pushed into remission, in turn giving him his life back.
In the meantime, he is struggling to complete school due to the symptoms leaving him stationed at home most of the week. His disorder does not respond well to physical activity or sunlight, where he has approximately fifteen minutes before the skin rash, feeling of weakness and more accelerate. His need to stay at home has left him attempting to finish his classes online, but he sometimes still needs to attend on-campus courses due to availability. Meanwhile, he has a strong team of specialists who are as determined as he is to find the right treatment combination that will make planning a safe trip to class a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, his frequent visits to specialists and inability to work have left him financially crippled. Not knowing where to turn and wanting to share his story with family and friends, TJ wrote about his experience and started a GoFundMe page. The response was overwhelming with friends and strangers alike eager to learn more and donate what they could to keep him afloat.
For more information, to donate, or to leave a comment please visit www.gofundme.com/tjhenderson