Adding to the problem, the ABP reports that 10 states don’t even have one pediatric rheumatologist. “To go through what we went through with Courtney with [a physician] so close was so, so hard,” Steve says. “I can’t fathom what it would be like going through something like that without a doctor that you trusted and counted on nearby.”
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2014
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The Russells agreed to take their support one step further, pledging to donate $25,000 to the Foundation. “We are fortunate that we can help in some way,” Debbie explains, “so we feel we want to and need to.” Steve and Debbie both hope that, through the Foundation, they can reach more medical students and encourage them to study rheumatology.
They also believe in the research being supported by the Foundation. With his daughter in mind, Steve explains what motivated them: “Just doing anything we can to find a cure so nobody has to go through this, so no kids have to go through this.
Courtney is probably going to deal with this for life. We’d love to think that the cure is around the corner and we can help.”