During her junior year of college at The University of the South, Ezmee Hutton felt like she was coming down with a bad case of the flu, but when her symptoms didn’t go away, she saw doctors in Tennessee and at the University of Virginia and was diagnosed with an immune system disorder called Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID) and was referred to the NIH.
People with CVID have low levels of several of the proteins (antibodies) that helps them fight infections. It is a random genetic mutation that leaves them open to recurrent infections in their ears, sinuses and respiratory system, and increases their risk of digestive disorders, blood disorders and cancer. Ezmee drives up to the NIH every 3-4 weeks from Ruckersville, Virginia for treatment at the NIH Clinical Center. She receives an infusion of immunoglobulins (called IVIG) and is regularly monitored for lesions in her brain and lungs that are caused by the disease.
Ezmee finished her college degree and now works as an Assistant Retail Planner at the corporate offices of Plow and Hearth, she also is a nanny for a four-year-old girl. She often comes to The Inn with her mom (also named Ezmee), making the three-hour trip to NIH after a long day of work.
“When we get in late and we are hungry, we so appreciate the food pantry at The Inn,” says Ezmee. “It’s also such a relief not to worry about spending $200 a night to stay up the road in a hotel. I am still paying back college loans and paying for a car, and have to take unpaid leave from my job to come up here for treatment. I can’t say enough about what a difference it makes for me to be able to stay at The Children’s Inn.”