Jorden Ruppe's Story
Thirteen years ago, Rochelle and Chris Ruppe, of Boiling Springs, S.C., were new parents with a beautiful baby girl. But when their daughter Jorden turned 2 weeks old, the Ruppes’ lives changed.
Jorden would not stop screaming. Her soft baby skin had turned into a painful, red rash. Rochelle would even drive a crying Jorden around for hours during the day to allow Chris to sleep before his night shift at work.
“From two weeks on, it was doctor after doctor after doctor,” Rochelle said. “And no one could tell me how to help her.”
Jorden continued to suffer with eczema for years. Allergy and infection specialists put her on oral steroids and antibiotics, restricted many foods from her diet, and told her parents to give her bleach baths. Nothing helped. She couldn’t go to school many days and she needed continuous attention and care. With Jorden’s little sister Skylar also showing signs of eczema, the Ruppes were running out of hope.
“You just feel helpless,” Rochelle said. “It doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it. She just gets sick constantly.”
When Jorden was 7, a doctor in Greenville, S.C., told Rochelle about National Jewish Health in Denver.
“They accepted Jorden as a patient and off we went for two weeks. They were incredible. We began wet wraps and never looked back.”
While under the care of Dan Atkins, MD, medical director of the Pediatric Day Program at National Jewish Health, Jorden took as many as three baths a day, was prescribed a steroid cream and received instructions on how to care for her skin when she returned home. We also reintroduced her to some foods. As part of National Jewish Health’s Art Therapy Program, Jorden learned how to express her feelings about her illness through art, including pottery.
When Jorden returned home with healthy skin, she told Rochelle, “Mom, finally God has answered our prayers.”
To show parents of children with eczema that there is hope, Rochelle started a Facebook page called Eczema Parents with nearly 300 members. The page gives parents an opportunity to share experiences with others who know what they are going through.
Today, Jorden is 13 and plays on a soccer team that placed second in state, and she recently made her high school’s junior varsity team. Both she and her sister Skylar cannot eat nuts and seafood, but they regularly receive compliments from strangers on their beautiful skin.
“Jorden is the most determined, healthy kid I know,” Rochelle said. “She is a different child after National Jewish Health.”
National Jewish Health is a global leader in the treatment of children with eczema, or atopic dermatitis. We provide a variety of comprehensive programs specially designed to teach patients and families how to care for this condition. We provide single-day consultations, multi-day outpatient visits or day hospital care for more extensive testing and treatment. Our doctors and scientists are regularly consulted and invited to speak about the discoveries they have made into underlying causes and best treatments for the chronic skin disease.