Family, friends travel distance to support Drew Anderson at the Walk Strong to Cure JM event

Several family members and friends surprised Drew Anderson of Norway to join him at the Walk Strong to Cure JM in Chicago. Pictured from left, front row: Donna VanHolla, Trevor Anderson, Drew Anderson, Evan Anderson, Kevin DeRidder, Everly DeRidder, Danae Anderson, Chris Paterson and Auggie Paterson; middle row: Ada VanHolla and Angela Anderson; back row: Nick Morgan, Jeffrey VanHolla, Julie VanHolla, Paige DeRidder, Holly Paterson, Dan Anderson, Dave VanHolla, and Darren Anderson.

NORWAY — Local families joined other Cure Juvenile Dermatomyotosis  participants on May 7 for the inaugural Walk Strong to Cure JM Chicago event at Busse Woods in Elk Grove Village, Ill. 

More than 1,300 people came out to walk, donating money and showing their love and support to all of the children in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois affected by JM.

In March 2016, at the age of 12, Drew Anderson son of Deana and Dan Anderson of Norway, was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyotosis (JDM), a life-threatening disease which causes the body’s own immune system to attack healthy cells and tissues. It can cause pain, weakness, inability to walk and disfigurement. It can affect virtually any system of the body, the heart, lungs, skin, muscles, and more. 

JM is a rare disease and its exact incidence is unknown. Approximately 2 to 4 children in a million in the United States are diagnosed with JM each year.

Drew’s family and friends showed their support by surprising him and showing up in Chicago, joining him an his mother to bring his “Walk Strong to Cure JM” team from two to 20 walkers. Wearing their “Team Drew” t-shirts they showed up to “Walk the Distance for a Cure.” They raised more than $3,000.

“We would like to thank everyone for their donations,” said Deana Anderson.

All proceeds from the walk benefit Cure JM Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Juvenile Myositis (JM).

Cure JM is the only organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for Juvenile Myositis and improving the lives of families affected by JM.

Cure JM’s goal is to never, ever let another child suffer from Juvenile Myositis.

“The family is already pumped for next year — what a wonderful event,” said Anderson.

For more information or to make a donation in Drew’s honor visit www.curejm.org