We are honored to share our first post in our 2013 Histiocytosis Awareness Month Blog Series. We did not have the opportunity to meet Perry in person, but by the words you will read below, you can tell she was truly a remarkable young woman. Perry was diagnosed with arthritis at a young age and later HLH.
Our daughter. Perry Tyner Tate, passed away on January 2, 2013. She was diagnosed with secondary HLH only 24 hours earlier.
She was only 23 years old but had accomplished much more than many do in a lifetime. Perry's life was a mission, a mission to help others and change lives. She faced many health challenges, but from an early age, she faced them head on! Diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at only 17 months of age and later with Fibromyalgia at the age of 21. Nothing physical was ever easy for Perry but she faced every obstacle with a smile and fierce determination.
Early December 2012, Perry started running fever and just generally feeling badly. She visited her rheumatologist who did routine blood tests and was alarmed by her abnormally low platelet and white blood counts. He sent her straight to the hospital. She was admitted and the tests started. The blood issues and fever didn’t get better and the doctors noted an enlarged spleen and increased ferritin levels. They sent her home for Christmas with no diagnosis and follow up appointments scheduled with the infectious disease doctor and hematologist. December 26 we noticed that she was very jaundiced. The doctor’s ordered a liver biopsy and immediately put her back in the hospital with concerns that she was going into liver failure. All the time her arthritis pain was unbearable --- the doctors had taken her off all her regular arthritis and Fibromyalgia medications in fear that her condition was drug induced. (Perry had take Enbrel/Humira and Methotrexate for 12+ years) Our doctors were considered among the best in the State and they were consulting with other doctors but no one ever mentioned HLH. In the next few days panic began to set in. After a series of miracles Perry was air lifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center. We all assumed she was going for a liver transplant. Only a few short hours before the transplant was to take place we were told that she was positive for HLH and the surgery was canceled. She started chemo and didn’t make it through the night. Every organ shut down and her battle was over. Bone marrow tests confirmed that the latent EBV virus (Mono at age 17) probably triggered the HLH in a body that was already immune compromised.
Her Daddy, her sister, her husband and I miss her terribly. Awareness should start in the medical community. Our State is ignorant to this disease.
Perry's love for underprivileged youth was so great that she has requested you help them on her behalf.
Donations can be sent to the Clinton Y Childcare Center in her memory. The Perry Tyner Tate Scholarship will allow children in Clinton a better quality of life by providing scholarships for after-school care, summer camp and swim lessons to children whose families cannot afford these services. Over $2,500 in scholarships have already been awarded in Perry’s honor.
Donations to the Scholarship fund may be sent to:
The Clinton Family YMCA
c/o The Perry Tyner Tate Scholarship
400 Lindale Street
Clinton, MS 39056
More on Perry
LINK: In Memoriam: Perry Tyner Tate University of Alabama Phychology
From Dr. Jeffrey Parker to his lab and collaborators
LINK: Northside Hosts Blood Drive In Memory Of Perry Tyner Tate WJGTV News Channel 12
LINK: Clinton YMCA dedicates Perry Tyner Tate Scholarship The Clinton Courier
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