Actor Gary Busey spreads awareness of Kawasaki Disease in Dubuque
Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
It's a disease that is un-familiar to most. Kawasaki Disease is an uncommon illness in children characterized by a high fever of at least five days. The fever is paired with at least four of the following findings; inflammation with reddening of the whites of the eyes, redness of swell of hands or feet, a rash, lymph nodes swelling in the neck or a red "strawberry" tongue.
Kawasaki Disease affects roughly 15 out of every 100,000 children in the United States. If not caught fast enough, the disease could be un-favorable.
"There is only really 10 days to treat Kawasaki Disease or else there is a 1 in 4 chance you will developed coronary artery aneurysms." said Steffanie Busey.
Actor Gary Busey and wife Steffanie Busey's son Luke was diagnosed with the disease at 14 months old.
"We didn't know anything about it, we had never heard of it. We were like what is it, a motorcycle?" said Steffanie Busey.
"The symptoms mimic other childhood syndromes. Which is the scary part and there are no diagnostic tests." Said Steffanie Busey.
Gary Busey is the 2013 honorary guest for the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. A festival in which a portion of the ticket sales go to the BuseyFoundation, a foundation inspired by the couples son.
"Luke is a chick magnet. He is musical, he is communicative, and he is organized. He's everything you want to be." said Gary Busey.
In 2012, the couple created the BuseyFoundation. A foundation who's mission is to raise awareness about Kawasaki Disease and provide funding to research about the disease.
"We don't know what possible long term effects could happen to our son. Even though he is out of the woods now and he has been given a good bill of health. It's really important to find out what the long term effects are." said Steffanie Busey.
"The amount of money doesn't count. Yes, it does. But it is not the amount of money that counts, it's the giving of the heart that counts." said Gary Busey.
Friday evening the couple shared their story and information about KD at an event hosted by the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. At the event, the couple also accepted a donation from the festival for their foundation.
If you would like to donate to the BuseyFoundation click here.
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