Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 50

Dannen Sisler
enjoys the
outdoors with his
grandmother Lisa.

These seem like ordinary pleasures for most, but for Dannen-who has a
deficient immune system-these activities offer hope for a normal life.
"For his whole life, I've just wanted to take Dannen to the beach, but
he couldn't even put his toes in the sand or get in the water because
the risk of infection was too great," says his paternal grandmother, Lisa
Sisler. "Now that he's cured, we can let him be a normal kid. He's had the
best time doing so many things he couldn't do before."

50

W IN TER 2 0 1 9

extensive testing, Dannen was diagnosed
with a type of primary immunodeficiency
(PI) called X-linked hyper IgM syndrome.
PI disorders, a group of more than
350 immune system disorders varying in
severity, affect the body's ability to produce infection-fighting proteins called
immunoglobulins, or antibodies. People
with PI disorders are vulnerable to
recurrent-and potentially debilitating
or life-threatening-illnesses. Caused by
hereditary or genetic defects, they often
are not suspected or diagnosed until late
childhood or adulthood.

Dannen was hospitalized at UVA for
three weeks, where his treatment
included intravenous immunoglobulin
(IVIG) infusions to boost his body's
infection-fighting ability. For more than
a year, his parents and grandmothers
gave Dannen injections of subcutaneous immune globulin every two weeks,
as the UVA pediatric immunology team
oversaw his care.
During this time, Dannen was rarely
taken out in public, and he wasn't
around anyone except close family
members. His caregivers even boiled his
drinking and bath water to protect him
from potential parasites.
"Talk about a lifestyle change-we
were so concerned about him picking up
infections," Sisler says. "Whenever any

PHOTO BY JACKSON SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY

Dannen was nearly 7 months old in
March 2016 when he suddenly became
lethargic and struggled to breathe. His
parents, Chad Sisler and Danica Strate,
took him to the pediatrician, who found
that Dannen's blood oxygen level was at
just 57 percent. (Anything below 90 percent is considered low.) Dannen was put
on oxygen and sent to UVA Children's
via helicopter.
The UVA medical team determined
that Dannen had pneumocystis pneumonia, which is found mostly in people
with weakened immune systems. After

A Lifestyle Change
for the Entire Family



Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 4
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 5
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 6
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 7
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 8
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 9
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 10
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 11
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 12
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 13
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 15
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 16
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 17
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 18
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 19
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 20
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 21
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 22
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 23
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 24
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 25
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 26
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 27
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 28
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 29
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 30
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 31
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 38
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 39
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 40
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 41
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 42
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 43
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 44
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 45
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 46
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 47
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 48
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 49
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 50
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 51
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 52
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 53
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 54
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 55
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - 56
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - UVA - Cover4
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