Martin Jarry was a police officer in Quebec. He coached a youth hockey team. He was used to being active, used to working out, used to being strong. But when Jarry was diagnosed with inclusion body myositis (IBM), he had to do some serious re-evaluating of his activities.
IBM is one of several rare autoimmune muscle diseases that causes severe muscle pain and weakness, difficulty moving and standing, chronic disability, and other symptoms. IBM typically affects muscles of the upper arms and legs and ankles, making it difficult or impossible to climb stairs, and often causing patients to fall. The chronic, debilitating nature of the disease inevitably leads to disability and life in a wheelchair.
Recently, however, Jarry had the chance to remember what life was like before his life was turned upside down by IBM, thanks to the innovative technology of B-Temia's Dermoskeleton. Wearing this exoskeleton device, he was able to run in- and complete- a 10K race in Ottawa, despite the crippling weakness in his arms and legs.
This cutting-edge exoskeleton technology will be on display at The Myositis Association's Annual Patient Conference on September 7-10 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. B-Temia, developers of the Dermoskeleton, will be on hand to demonstrate this skin-type motorized device that allows patients with musculoskeletal diseases, such as myositis, to regain their autonomy by enabling them to walk- and even run- normally without the use of other assistive devices.
Jarry will don the Dermoskeleton to demonstrate the device at the TMA Conference on Friday September 8.
In addition to IBM, myositis diseases take other forms, including dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and necrotizing myopathy. Patients also face a number of other life-threatening disorders as well, including interstitial lung disease, antisynthetase syndrome, and a higher risk of cancer and other diseases.
There is no cure for this chronic, disabling condition, but many patients who have a form of myositis other than IBM can successfully be treated with anti-inflammatory medications. For those with inclusion body myositis, like Jarry, there is no treatment and no cure. Raising awareness of myositis, its symptoms, and treatments is part of the mission of The Myositis Association and this Annual Patient Conference.
At the Conference, hundreds of patients with myositis will come together to learn from the world's experts about the various forms of the disease. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic, the NIH, and other prestigious American institutions will be joined by their colleagues from the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, and Sweden to share the growing body of knowledge about myositis.