One of first bone marrow transplants for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in the United States is approved for Oregon girl

Bone marrow transplant will be the first in the Pacific Northwest to be approved for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Bone marrow transplants have proven to be effective in the treatment of many cancers. Now Oregon Health Sciences University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital and Kaiser Permanente have given approval for an autologous bone marrow transplant to be performed on a nine-year-old girl in hopes of curing an autoimmune disease that has made her life unbearable.

Mollie Hauck of Canby, Oregon, doesn't know what it's like to play like other kids, because sometimes playing can make her joints ache so badly she can't move or stop crying in pain. When Mollie was three she was diagnosed by her Kaiser Permanente pediatrician with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease where her own white blood cells attack the healthy cells in her joints causing excruciating pain, swelling and eventually possible immobilization or death.

" We just want her to be able to enjoy life like any other child without the constant emotional and physical pain,"said Mollie's parents Kathy and Sam Hauck. "We hope Mollie's experience with this treatment will open the doors for other children who suffer from JRA and other autoimmune diseases."

Mollie suffers from an extreme case of systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Most children with this condition respond to some form of treatment within a year of diagnosis. Nothing has worked well for Mollie. She has weekly injections and each day must take 12 to 15 different pills. In addition, she has had repeated multiple joint injections, up to 29 injections at a time, and already has had to have the lining of one of her hip joints removed due to the arthritis.

"Mollie's condition has required increasingly aggressive therapy. In spite of these treatments Mollie continues to suffer," said David Tilford, M.D., a Kaiser Permanente pediatrician who was a

Contact: Christine Long
Oregon Health & Science University

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