Getting out to the range is good. Challenging shooting makes it better. Helping others while you are at the range enjoying that challenging shooting? That is what it is all about. Last week, like every week I went to the range, but I was happy to lend a hand by helping promote the Aim to Cure JDM Challenge. I think if you read on, you might find yourself motivated to do the same. But first, you are gonna need some background.
What is JM?
Juvenile myositis is a rare autoimmune disease with no known cure. When I say rare, I’m talking about somewhere from 2-4 kids in a million. That is rare, which is good. And bad. We will talk more about that in a minute.
There are a couple of forms of juvenile myositis but my attention will be focused on one specific form for one specific reason. JDM or juvenile dermatomyositis.
So here is the breakdown of what JM and JDM are. Juvenile means affecting children. Myo refers to the muscles and itis describes inflammation. JM is an inflammation of the muscles.
JDM adds in derma, which is skin. It follows then that JDM is an inflammation of the skin and muscles.
It sounds like a situation where maybe you worked out too hard, strained some muscles, then rolled around in poison ivy. I wish it was that simple.
Instead, the immune system kicks into overdrive and attacks the skin and muscles. This causes ashes and inflammation. Without intervention the condition can become so severe that the muscles near the core of the body weaken to the point where they cannot support sitting, swallowing or even breathing.
There is a treatment protocol for JM and JDM, but it’s aggressive — including infusions of powerful steroids and injections of chemotherapy drugs.
Although JM currently has no cure, the hope is with aggressive treatment patients can enter remission in 3-5 years.
Gun Owners Care
This year the National Shooting Sports Foundation launched a new initiative called Gun Owners Care. The idea is simple: we are a caring community and the world deserves to know it. Gun owners are often the object of shame and disrespect from our politicians, our media and those that don’t value human rights. The reality is that gun owners as a group are incredibly deserving of respect because they are an active group of good, concerned citizens who defend our proud American heritage.
Gun owners also care about each other. That is my motivation for writing this piece and why you are still reading.
Why You Care about JM and the Aim2CureJM Challenge
I had never heard of JDM before August of this year. I became aware when Julie Golob let me know that her 11-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with the disease.
Julie and I are gun industry friends and when she shared this news, I did some research. Being a friend to Julie I was scared for her daughter and her whole family. As a dad on an 11-year-old I was scared for me.
Julie has been a fixture in the gun industry for a lot of years. She is a veteran, a world champion, captain of Team Smith & Wesson. She is a hunter, a Second Amendment advocate, a wife and obviously a mother.
Julie is also a doer. Julie takes action. She has taken action for us as gun owners in many ways like being an outstanding representative of our community.
Now she is taking action on behalf of kids and families that struggle dealing with JM. I think she could use a hand. I’m lending mine, and I think you should lend your help as well. The best part is you can have fun doing it.
If you can’t wait anymore, you can head to Julie’s website to learn all about what she has going on with the Aim2CureJM Challenge. Just visit JulieGolob.com/curejm.
JM needs more attention
Remember before when I talked about the rarity of JM. Such a blessing that so few people suffer through the struggles of JM. For those that do, it can be a long, lonely struggle. Part of that is because JM has such a small footprint. Rare diseases often suffer from a lack of attention which means issues with education and research. Let me tell you what I mean.
Because JM is so rare, many physicians aren’t aware of the symptoms of the diseases. This can lead to a long period of time between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis. With any disease a speedy and accurate diagnosis is beneficial. This remains true with JM. As a result, increasing awareness and education related to juvenile myositis can benefit those that suffer.
Research related to JM is important because there is currently a limited scope of treatment for the disease and there is no cure. Now research takes money and without attention, funds are hard to raise. Without funds and research, there will be no cure.
Shooting the Aim2CureJM Challenge.
Last week I used one of my range trips to shoot the Aim2CureJM Challenge that Julie cooked up. I shot it once with my Springfield Armory Hellcat, two Hellcat 13 round magazines and 23 rounds of ammo.
To try and ease my pain a bit, the second time around I opted for the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 full size 9mm I carry every day. I still needed two 17 round mags to avoid refilling halfway through.
How you can get involved.
There are a ton of different ways that you can get involved in the Aim2CureJM movement. You can shoot the challenge, share images and hashtags on social media, or simply make a donation to Cure JM Foundation a 501(c)(3) nonprofit who is working to find a cure for JM.
Get started by simply heading to Julie Golob‘s website and select a way to get involved.
Shoot the Aim2CureJM Challenge
So take some time the next time you are at the range and shoot the Aim2CureJM Challenge. Share on social, make your donation, but post up images of your target in the comments! I want to see some shooting!