Lifestyle

Damon battles threat to life as body attacks itself

Juvenile Dermatomyositits sufferer Damon Muller loves playing with Lego and model airplanes, especially his new Airbus A380 Qantas plane.
Juvenile Dermatomyositits sufferer Damon Muller loves playing with Lego and model airplanes, especially his new Airbus A380 Qantas plane. Paul Braven

GLADSTONE boy Damon Muller used to ride his bike and play in the backyard like other kids.

Now he's dealing with a rare and life-threatening disease.

Damon, 11, has juvenile dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own muscle, skin and tissue.

It started when his mum noticed a rash on her son's ears and legs last September.

"We were in a pool in Brisbane and I noticed his ears were bright red, but he wasn't burnt," she said.

"The next day it came back but I didn't think much of it. We went to the doctor and he said Damon had lupus.

"On November 3 we were told he had an autoimmune disease called juvenile dermatomyositis.

"I had to ask the doctor five times to pronounce it."

The condition affects between two and four children per million in the US each year. The number of cases in Australia is unknown.

A search on the internet shocked Damon's mum.

"The muscles closest to the trunk of your body are affected," she said.

"It's life-threatening because the GI track can have complications with swallowing and if it comes back you can get cancers as an adult.

"We are still wrapping our head around it."

Damon now has to take Prednisone steroids and a regular chemotherapy injection.

As a result of the steroids, Damon has a rounded face, increased weight, stretch marks and weak bones.

"He's gone from a tall, slim kid to me having to buy size small men's clothes," Ms Moynahan said.

The Year 6 student has been an inspiration to his mum, dad Daniel and younger brother Toby. "He's been amazing," Ms Moynahan said.

The family is trying to raise $15,000 to fly to Florida in 2016 for a conference with some of JDM's top doctors. They've raised $3030 so far and would be grateful for any donations from the community.

If you would like to donate to Damon's Hope For A Cure, head to http://www.mycause.com.au/page/91642/damonshope foracure.

What is juvenile dermatomyositis?

  •  Rare and life-threatening autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy tissue
  •  Begins in the childhood or teenage years
  •  Causes skin rashes due to inflammation
  •  It affects girls twice as much as boys
  •  Researchers believe environmental and genetic factors cause the disease
  •  There is no cure for JDM, but early diagnosis and aggressive treatment continue to improve
  •  Some will battle an array of serious complications, resulting in the inability to walk, ongoing pain, disfigurement and even death

Topics:  fundraising



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

600 apply for 35 jobs at exciting new store

Marney Rackley and Ashlea Gessell from Harris Scrafe display the latest fashions that can be purchased in store.

HUGE store opening soon is flooded with hundreds of job applications

'I had no role in' Gladstone's $200k contract decision: O'Dowd

Incumbent member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd awaits official polling results of the election.

HUNDREDS of thousands local pollie won for our city goes out of town

Old time Gladstone worker passes on knowledge

OLD-TIMER: Tannum Sands State High School students Porcia and Hannah met and chatted with Fred Critchley.

LOCAL of almost five decades built major Gladstone landmark.

Local Partners

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

WHEN acting royalty comes to town to direct the theatre performance of the year, you sit up and take notice.

PHOTOS: Gladstone's hottest models to fight for $50K prize chance

Riley Callow, Roche Bailey and Whitney Freyling are getting ready for the MAXIM model search coming to Tannum Sands.

HUGE BRAND name coming to Gladstone to pick and choose our best.

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films most likely to win at Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Gladstone's 20 cheapest properties on the market, all under $150K

DIRT CHEAP: 5/239 Sun Valley Rd, Kin Kora is selling for $140,000

PROPERTY sellers drop prices as houses and units sell for bargains.

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!