Native Little one Household Loans Write Ascension Pediatrics for Uncommon Illness Detection | information
TAWAS CITY – While a diagnosis of an unusual illness can be devastating, those who go through the ordeal will have much better success if the problem is identified early.
Such is the case of Arianna Rose Kellar-Miller, 4, Tawas City, who recently learned that she has the rare autoimmune disease juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM).
Her mother KC Kellar and father Matthew Miller admit that the young girl has a long way to go. However, they find that things could have been much worse if Tana McKulsky, a nurse with Ascension St. Joseph Hospital Pediatrics, hadn’t reacted quickly.
When Kellar shares the details of her daughter’s situation, he first points out that living in a smaller community has advantages, to say the least. “One of them is your pediatrics, which is full of people you know and who you grew up with.”
Kellar says that on Jan. 8, she took her daughter – who was just 4 years old at the time – to see McKulsky, whom they usually meet when they go to Tawas for Ascension Day.
Kellar attended school with McKulsky’s children, with whom she graduated.
“If I know her in that sense, I think it can only help with the news we received that day,” she says.
“Arianna had developed a rash on her thighs that spread to her hands and face,” says Kellar. “At first it seemed like she might have dry skin or a reaction to some kind of substance. We always use free and clear laundry soaps and fabric softeners so I was confused about what this could have done. “
She says that after a week with her daughter’s condition not getting better from home remedies and things clearly becoming uncomfortable for the child, she called Ascension and they pressed Kellar-Miller that morning.
“Tana came into the room and had a short chat with Arianna. She hadn’t seen her since her last round of vaccination since COVID. Arianna has always been so healthy! “Kellar remembers.
“Tana took one look at her rash, especially her hands, as her joints and the beds of her fingernails were very sore and tender,” continued Kellar. “Tana came back into the room with a book and started explaining something about ‘JDM’ to me.”
According to Kellar, JDM is an incredibly rare disease that affects around two or three children per million. It affects muscles and skin in the form of weakness and a rash.
While McKulsky was discussing her suspicions, they were talking about how Kellar-Miller suddenly wanted to take a daytime nap, which she hadn’t done since she was 18 months old.
“We started talking about little things – or things that we at least thought weren’t,” says Kellar. “Tana then told me that she referred Arianna to the University of Michigan to see a dermatologist and specialist on what she firmly believed was Arianna.”
It took three weeks but they got on and Kellar said the family’s fears were confirmed on January 29 when Kellar-Miller was officially diagnosed with JDM.
Her rash had only gotten worse by this point, and the boy’s fatigue and lack of energy were gone very worrying for her parents.
Fortunately, Kellar notes that the team at CS Mott Children’s Hospital, which is affiliated with the university, got to work quickly. “Our little girl received her first infusion treatment on the same day to start and fight her own immune system so that it no longer attacks her muscles and skin. It was by far the hardest day in the life of her father and me. “
Kellar says this was when it all came together and they had to accept that their daughter has a fight on her hands to try to be “one of three”. It was referring to one in three children who have JDM and who go into remission after a few years of aggressive treatment.
“Our chances are pretty good. This was caught very early in the age and that is not always the case, ”continued Kellar. “Some children and families only find out about this when they have lost enough muscle to be unable to walk or even swallow properly.”
She says her daughter’s situation was caught so early because of McKulsky. The specialist Kellar-Miller now sees Ascension Pediatrics and McKulsky in the Mott facility.
“She couldn’t believe she caught it and immediately knew what she was dealing with. She told us with certainty that Tana, who catches this so early, will change the game for Arianna, ”explains Kellar. “She’s hoping Arianna has a good chance of being that ‘one of three’ and that’s because of Tana and Ascension Pediatrics. Without her we could have had a very, very sick little girl. “
Going back to the Ascension visit on Jan. 8, Kellar says her life changed that day when McKulsky sat next to her.
“She looked at me as I was clearly trying to take it all in and said,” I know that wasn’t what you expected when you brought her in today, “recalls Kellar.” No, it was It sure doesn’t, but we can’t thank Tana enough for what she did that day. Because it’s caught so early and gives Arianna a real chance to fight this disease. Tana’s knowledge of this very rare disease gave us that chance . “
Kellar thanked McKulsky and the Ascension Pediatrics staff for their presence, expertise, and efforts to give the children in this community the doctors and nurses they deserve. “I know Arianna and the entire Kellar Miller family will never forget it.”
She added that this was all a whirlwind. But she and Miller are also grateful for their employers, who worked with the couple to ensure that both of them could attend their daughter’s weekly treatments in Ann Arbor. “There is still much work to be done for Arianna’s future treatments and we are very happy that they are so understanding. We are grateful for the friends, family, and members of the community who have volunteered. “
Kellar-Miller’s relatives have also proven to be a source of strength for them in this struggle. She lives with her parents and her brothers Graham Miller (10) and Clive Miller (8) from Miller’s previous marriage and with Kellar’s daughter Alanalee Kellar (14).
“Arianna’s brothers show her how to hang out with the boys every day and do their part to help, even if it just makes Arianna smile or laugh on a hard day,” says Kellar.
The family love for one another is clear, as mentioned when Alanalee was also featured in this publication in January 2016.
Reportedly, she was hailed as a heroine by her mother, who had lifelong asthma.
Kellar suffered a severe attack that winter when she cleared the path in her home after a heavy snowfall. She couldn’t breathe, but Alanalee, then only 9 years old, quickly provided help. She retrieved Kellar’s nebulizer and pocketed it, pocketed the medicine, and held her mother’s hand as she tried to regain control. Alanalee continued to sit with Kellar, who had two treatments.
“I have no doubt that I would have been in the hospital that night without her,” said Kellar after the incident. “And when I have to do that, it usually means I’m stuck there for days, sometimes weeks.” However, thanks to Alanalee’s efforts, her mother was able to recover at home.
“I was only there for her as she is there for me when I need her,” shared Alanalee at the time. “Now all that matters is that she is okay.”
Kellar says Alanalee has continued to become an amazing young lady. She is very close to her younger sister and despite being 10 years old, they have a strong bond.
As for Kellar-Miller’s response to her diagnosis, her mother says she has shown amazing courage and strength. “During her treatment last week, while waiting for the nurse to do her IV, she just looked at me and said, ‘I can be brave, right mom? ‘As I tried to hold myself together I naturally smiled and said to her,’ Yes, you can. ‘”
Kellar reiterated that this was all due to McKulsky and Ascension Pediatrics. “We’ll never be able to express the gratitude we have for them and the office staff there.”