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Warsaw teen living with an autoimmune disease struggles to find medicine she needs during COVID-19 pandemic

Hydroxycholorquine drug becomes an urgent need for a Kosciusko County teen battling juvenile dermatomyositis after coronavirus patients begin to purchase it.

Posted: May 22, 2020 10:35 PM
Updated: May 22, 2020 11:04 PM

WARSAW, Ind. (WFFT) - Katherine Alderfer celebrated her 14th birthday in quarantine with her twin sister, Caroline, on Monday, May 18.

But quarantine isn’t a new concept for Katherine.

Her autoimmune disease has restricted her from playing outside with friends for the past decade.

Kristine Alderfer, Katherine’s mother, says, "It was about ten years ago this weekend when we were having a birthday party and she was super irritable and literally one day could not climb the stairs in our house."

Katherine has juvenile dermatomyositis, a rare childhood autoimmune disease causing the immune system to attack one’s muscles, skin, and other organs.

And causing havoc for Katherine’s family.

If exposed to the sun or ultraviolet rays, her skin flares severely and her muscles become inflamed for days on end.

Katherine also take hydroxychloroquine everyday, an immunosuppressive drug President Donald Trump promoted as a treatment for COVID-19 since March, despite warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Katherine says, "It's been very stressful, because when you're trying to get your medicine and you can't get it...it's hard."

Katherine and her mother say obtaining the drug has become even harder since the COVID-19 pandemic.

And its mention by the president as being a ‘cure’ made them fearful Katherine would no longer have her necessary supply from the pharmacy.

Kristine Alderfer says, “When that started being talked about in the media, we were really nervous about her being able to get her medication.”

Since there hasn’t been a single FDA-approved drug to help with juvenile dermatomyositis, Katherine’s family relies on a pharmaceutical guessing game that costs them hundreds of thousands of dollars a week.

But they’ll continue guessing until an answer for Katherine is found.

Katherine and her family will participate in the Cure JM (juvenile myositis) "Walk Strong Across America" virtual event encouraging particapants to engage in physical activity to support those with the juvenile dermatomyositis and their families.

For more information on the event, click here

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
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Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 151802

Reported Deaths: 4746
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin27119607
Cuyahoga17554656
Hamilton13237315
Montgomery7938164
Lucas7343364
Butler6085111
Summit5366252
Warren311549
Marion311147
Mahoning3095281
Stark2913175
Pickaway267944
Lorain233386
Delaware230621
Fairfield213253
Licking194963
Columbiana194080
Wood192172
Trumbull1916132
Clark183940
Clermont174423
Lake164851
Greene149034
Medina147539
Miami146351
Allen146269
Portage116866
Mercer113218
Erie95947
Tuscarawas94120
Wayne94068
Richland92219
Ross89624
Madison84312
Darke80643
Geauga72649
Athens7242
Belmont72427
Hancock72010
Lawrence67122
Ashtabula66048
Shelby66010
Putnam61923
Auglaize6119
Sandusky58020
Huron5557
Union5512
Scioto5167
Seneca48814
Ottawa47130
Preble44515
Muskingum4383
Holmes3959
Jefferson3384
Henry33414
Defiance33012
Champaign3133
Logan3133
Clinton30213
Perry3009
Brown2922
Knox28815
Washington26223
Jackson2616
Morrow2612
Fulton2591
Hardin25713
Crawford2476
Ashland2464
Coshocton23411
Fayette2336
Highland2303
Williams2143
Wyandot21312
Pike2020
Gallia19613
Meigs17610
Guernsey1738
Hocking1679
Carroll1527
Adams1364
Van Wert1243
Monroe11018
Paulding1100
Harrison643
Morgan500
Vinton473
Noble340
Unassigned00
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