In late May 2010, Katherine was diagnosed with a very rare auto-immune disorder called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. This disease can cause debilitating symptoms including muscle pain and weakness, ulcers, rashes, severe fatigue, lung and heart problems, calcinosis (muscle hardening), swallowing and digestive problems. This disease has no known cure and strikes 2-4 out of a million. Some children will experience remission, but others will battle the disease their entire life. Medication can help relieve the symptoms, but there is no known cure.
Katherine and her family were blessed to find help at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, a two and a half hour drive from their home in northern Indiana. Each week Katherine and her family visit Riley for Katherine’s treatment. The Alderfer family has come to appreciate the quality care and attention that the Riley team has provided Katherine. They have especially come to appreciate the hospital’s Art Therapy Program. Riley’s Art Therapist focuses on the emotional well-being of the patients while minimizing the adverse effects of the hospital experience.
It is in Katherine’s honor that Little Diva Tutus has created the Katherine Alderfer Tutu benefitting the Riley Hospital for Children’s Art Therapy Program. As this program grows, its impact on other children like Katherine can flourish!
Katherine designed her own tutu using a beautiful blend of colors which can be ordered here. Little Diva Tutus will donate 30% of each Katherine Alderfer tutu sold to Riley Hospital for Children's Art Therapy Program in honor of Katherine!
To date we have donated $750 to Riley Hospital for Children!