All: Rick told us it's OK to post a message about his disease because some of you haven't heard the story.
Amyloidosis is a rare and potentially fatal disease that occurs when substances called amyloid proteins build up in your organs. Amyloid is an abnormal protein usually produced by cells in your bone marrow that can be deposited in any tissue or organ.
Amyloidosis can affect different organs in different people, and there are many types of amyloid. Amyloidosis frequently affects the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
The exact cause of amyloidosis is unknown, and there's no cure for amyloidosis. However, therapies are available to help manage the symptoms and limit the production of amyloid protein.
In Rick's case, his grandfather and great aunt died from familia amyloidosis (hereditary type). Rick's diagnosis was difficult because he has a rare genetic form that is shared by only one other human, in China. The recommended therapy for Rick was to replace his liver to stop production of the protein. It is hoped that this will provide relief from pain, numbness, and burning in his legs and feet. We are also hoping for recovery of damaged nerves.
More information at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/amyloidosis/DS00431
Jeanine and Ed