NEW YORK, May 16, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For more than 30 years the Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF) has focused its efforts on the immune system because it holds the key to conquering many diseases that have plagued humankind. Millions of people around the world die needlessly from conditions that could be cured or prevented if the immune system functioned normally. The failure of the immune system to function properly, contributes to two-thirds of the deaths of all Americans who die from infections each year.
"Simply put, harnessing the power of the immune system represents one of the single greatest disease-fighting, and life-saving strategies that biomedical science has to offer. The best medicine lies within us!" exclaims Fred Modell, Co-Founder of JMF.
The immune system protects the body through a network of more than a trillion cells, working together in tissues and organs to create a department of defense. It is the immune system's job to keep foreign invaders out or, failing that, to destroy them once they enter the body. This process works most of the time, although not always, which is why people occasionally struggle in recovering quickly from colds, flu, and other infections.
However, some people are born with immune systems that don't work as well as others. This could be due to Primary Immunodeficiency (PI), which might cause a person to be sick more often than others. PI is an umbrella term that covers a group of more than 350 disorders of the immune system with varying degrees of severity. They occur when one or more essential parts of the immune system do not work correctly.
People with PI cannot get rid of pathogens or protect themselves from these pathogens as well as they should, causing frequent infections and other problems that are hard to cure. PI is chronic, serious and often fatal, if not diagnosed and treated early. Once thought to be a rare or uncommon diagnosis, new discoveries have shown that these defects affect between 1-2% of the population.
JMF created specialty Jeffrey Modell Research & Diagnostic Centers, to meet the rising need for referrals and specialized centers for the increasing number of patients identified with PI. JMF has also donated millions of dollars to expert Immunologists from around the world who are conducting programs focusing on state-of-the-art basic and clinical research to advance the understanding of PI and the immune system.
These efforts have increased the number of patients identified with PI by 57% in the United States and 35.4% globally.
"The advancements that have been uncovered within the last few years are extraordinary. Our understanding of the human body, of PI, and the technologies that can now help create a stronger healthier immune system creates a better quality of life for patients and families. And it's not just for those affected by PI, the more we can focus on and learn about the immune system, and how it operates will change treatments for a vast variety of conditions." shares Vicki Modell, JMF Co-Founder.
About Jeffrey Modell Foundation Vicki and Fred Modell established the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in 1987, in memory of their son Jeffrey, who died at the age of fifteen from complications of Primary Immunodeficiency -- a genetic condition that is chronic, serious, and often fatal.
JMF is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to early diagnosis, meaningful treatments and, ultimately, cures through research, physician education, public awareness, advocacy, patient support, and newborn screening. The Jeffrey Modell Centers Network (JMCN) includes 781 physicians at 356 academic institutions, in 273 cities, 86 countries, spanning 6 continents and growing.