Crown Point Dmitri Duval looks forward to going to the beach, just like other kids. He’s not like other kids, though.
“The sun is bad for him,” said Erin Duval, Dmitri’s mother. “It is almost like he is allergic to it. He needs to wear sun block and a sun hat when out side. We do try to let him live his life like every other child, so we do go to the beach. He just wears his surfer swim suit, longer sleeves, etc. And tons of sun block. He wears a hit hat it the water.”
Dmitri, a 7 year old Crown Point boy, suffers from Juvenile Dermatomyositis, an auto immune disease that attacks skin and muscles. It is potentially life threatening, affecting only 2 in a million children.
“They say if a JDM child gets a sunburn it can cause the disease to resurface,” Erin said. “Some kids are very sensitive and get a rash just from certain lighting. Thankfully Dmitri is not that sensitive, and we take the precautions to prevent tanning and sun burn. From my understanding some kids aren’t affected by the sun, but there is no way to be sure, so we will not take that chance.”
Dmitri, the son of Erin and Neil Duval, was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis in 2009 at the age of 3. He underwent high doses of oral and IV steroids and almost three years of a weekly chemotherapy injections. He is now in remission.
“Dmitri was 3 when he started getting a strange rash on his hands,” Erin recalled. “I was told it was eczema, psoriasis, warts, etc. Then it started to appear in his legs. He was bruising and had bug bites that wouldn’t heal. The doctors said sensitive skin. After about four months he started to become unable to walk. He could no longer get out of bed. He couldn’t sit on the floor to play because his muscles were deteriorating so badly.”