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Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca Johnson
“Don’t give up on your dreams because of PI”
Condition:  Primary Immunodeficiency (PI)
Therapy: Hizentra® (Immune Globulin Subcutaneous [Human], 20% Liquid)

Colds, ear infections and even staph infections from blisters were common occurrences for Rebecca Johnson, but when her friends started commenting on the fact that she was “always sick,” Rebecca, who was 26 at the time, decided to see a specialist to determine if there was an underlying cause for her frequent illness.

Rebecca was eventually diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency (CVID), one of the most common of the more than 200 types of Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) disorders recognized by the World Health Organization. CVID is an antibody deficiency that leaves the immune system unable to defend against bacteria and viruses, resulting in recurrent and often severe infections. The condition affects both males and females. According to the Immune Deficiency Foundation, CVID affects approximately 1 in 25,000 people.

Shortly after diagnosis, Rebecca began treatments with subcutaneous immunoglobulin to boost her immune system.

“After starting treatment I felt free to enjoy life again,” said Rebecca. “I even felt confident enough to take a trip from my home in the U.S. to Australia to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.”

While her overall health improved, Rebecca became concerned about how CVID and its treatment might affect her dream of becoming a mother.

“My immunologist addressed my concerns and connected me with a woman with PI who had recently had a baby,” Rebecca said. “Hearing her story made me feel more comfortable with raising a family despite the challenges of living with PI.”

Rebecca became pregnant in 2011 and gave birth to her son Grant in March 2012.

Rebecca Johnson

Today, Rebecca works full-time as an interior design project manager and enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking, with her husband and Grant. She also continues to manage her condition with Hizentra® (Immune Globulin Subcutaneous [Human], 20% Liquid) from CSL Behring.

Rebecca wants to share her story with other women with PI to let them know that they don’t have to give up their dream of having a family.

“It is possible to live a ‘normal’ and active lifestyle,” said Rebecca. “Don’t give up on your dreams because of PI.”

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