Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Hannah Sunshine Foundation - Tucker Beau's Story

University of Illinois College of Medicine Professor Mark Holterman, MD, teaches surgical and pediatric classes. In addition to his work in teaching, Dr. Mark Holterman actively explores cellular therapies. He is also one of the early leaders of the Hannah Sunshine Foundation, which supports pediatric patients like Tucker Beau. 

Tucker Beau was diagnosed with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis at a very young age. In this type of chronic arthritis the immune system targets healthy tissues, resulting in inflammation. In addition to joint pain, children living with this condition often experience prolonged fevers and issues with internal organs. 

When Tucker Beau was very young, his illness prevented him from eating properly. As time went by, it kept him from doing the active things other children do, like ride a bicycle. Tucker Beau relied on his heroes, Batman and fellow patient Sarah, for support. 

Tucker Beau's parents sought out stem cell treatments through Celltex Therapeutics, hoping to try all possible avenues to find help for their son. Tucker Beau became the first child to receive treatment for the disease that relied on the patient's own stem cells. Today, he is able to ride his bike, play lacrosse, and go to school.

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