KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CSL Behring has teamed up with Professional Supercross racer Carl Schlacht to launch www.IamaChamPIon.com. This new online resource is part of the I am a ChamPIon campaign, a partnership that aims to raise awareness of primary immunodeficiency disease (PI or PIDD) while encouraging those with the condition to pursue their dreams despite the challenges that PI can pose.
"PI is a genetic disorder that can have a dramatic impact on a person's ability to participate in daily activities due to a weakened immune system that leaves him or her vulnerable to common infections. If PI is left untreated, infections can occur some severe enough to cause permanent and irreversible organ damage," said Dr. John Sleasman, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of South Florida. "While the condition is not curable, immunoglobulin treatments can help supplement the immune system to allow patients to lead active lives."
Carl is just one of approximately 250,000 individuals (or one in 1,200) diagnosed with PI in the United States. Race fans watching Carl perform high flying jumps and difficult maneuvers would never know that he requires a weekly subcutaneous infusion (i.e., under the skin) of immunoglobulin to manage his condition, which helps him stay healthy to compete at the professional level.
"Growing up I didn't know anyone else affected by primary immunodeficiency," said Carl, who was diagnosed with PI at a year old. "For this reason, I am encouraging everyone affected by PI to visit www.IamaChamPIon.com and post their 'ChamPIon' story. Collectively, we can support and inspire each other to pursue our dreams."
In addition to providing an outlet for people with PI to share their stories, the I Am a ChamPIon website offers information about the condition and identifying the warning signs for diagnosis. At www.IamaChamPIon.com you can also watch a video of Carl on the race track and discussing his journey to becoming a professional Supercross racer despite PI.
About Primary Immunodeficiencies
Nearly 150 types of PIs exist. For individuals with PI, many of them children, infections may not improve as expected with usual treatments and may even keep returning. As a result, patients may face repeated rounds of antibiotics or hospitalization for treatment. Repeated infections can lead to organ damage, which over time can become life-threatening. Some infections, such as meningitis, may even result in death.
Collectively, PIs affect an estimated 10 million people worldwide. Due to the X-linked inheritance in many PI syndromes, more males are affected than females. For more information on PI, please visit www.IamaChamPIon.com or contact the leading PI patient advocate groups in the U.S., the Immune Deficiency Foundation and the Jeffrey Modell Foundation.
About CSL Behring
CSL Behring is a leader in the plasma protein therapeutics industry. Committed to saving lives and improving the quality of life for people with rare and serious diseases, the company manufactures and markets a range of plasma-derived and recombinant therapies worldwide. CSL Behring therapies are indicated for the treatment of coagulation disorders including hemophilia and von Willebrand disease, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema and inherited respiratory disease. The company's products are also used in cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic diseases in newborns. CSL Behring operates one of the world's largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. CSL Behring is a subsidiary of CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. For more information, visit www.cslbehring.com.
Senior Manager, Public Relations & Communications
SOURCE CSL Behring