Donor Profile: Amy Schafer

Amy Schafer: Fighting Back Against Immune System Diseases

Amy Schafer: Fighting Back Against Immune System Diseases

Amy Schafer has more than her share of experience with immune system diseases. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis when she became severely ill a few months after having her son, Luke, in 2002. A year later, Luke tried a supermarket food sample and had an anaphylactic episode. Amy later learned that Luke had multiple severe food allergies.

But that’s not all.

image descriptionAmy Schafer with her son, Luke, and dog, Pepper

“My mom has Addison’s disease, which her doctors say may have an autoimmune component,” says Amy, a technology consultant, who lives in Michigan. “And our beloved Dalmatian, Pepper, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes shortly after we learned about Luke’s allergies.”

“I’ve been watching research for 15 years and haven’t seen much that could help us, until I learned about Dr. Wambre’s work.”

Her son’s experience, in particular, moved her to support peanut allergy research led by Eric Wambre, PhD, and make several generous donations to BRI.

“I’ve been watching research for 15 years and haven’t seen much that could help us, until I learned about Dr. Wambre’s work,” Amy says.

Today, the Schafers are doing well and Amy’s thyroid disease is in remission. Luke, now 16, vigilantly monitors his diet and doesn’t let severe allergies get in the way of varsity athletics and high school robotics. Annette, Amy’s mom, is healthy. And Pepper lived until age 14 (98 in dog years), thanks to Amy giving her twice-daily insulin injections.

The Schafers’ experience helps explain why they support BRI. They know these diseases are connected and that progress against one is progress against them all. 

“We’ll do everything we can to support BRI,” Amy says, “because their breakthroughs create a domino effect against all of these diseases.”
 

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