|Jay Jay interview|
Nearly A Band Member
It’s supposed to be a routine interview to promote Twisted Sister‘s upcoming ‘A Twisted Christmas Holiday Extravaganza‘ show at the Best Buy Theater on Dec. 17, but the conversation has shifted focus. Noisecreep is on the phone with guitarist Jay Jay French when he starts telling us about his daughter, Samantha, and her battle with a debilitating eye disease.
“When my daughter was six, she had a routine eye exam at school and they found something irregular in her test. They couldn’t figure it out, so we went to a specialist and he diagnosed her with uveitis. I had never heard of it, but it’s an autoimmune disease which is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, also known as the uvea.
“It’s been described like having arthritis in the eye. If you could imagine arthritis like having your joints being attacked by cells that think they are defending against something that isn’t there, so they become inflamed trying to ward off something. In my daughter’s case, the cells think there is something on her eyes, so they attack her uvea, and attach themselves. When too many cells attach themselves to her uvea it can eventually cause glaucoma and permanent blindness,” says French, a founding member of Twisted Sister.
Noisecreep asked the guitarist if Samantha has any issues with her sight. “Luckily, my daughter’s condition was diagnosed early enough where we helped preserve her sight, but not without the trauma of her enduring, so far, 11 years of heavy immunosuppressant drugs. It can open you up to other health problems when you are on those.
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Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French on His Daughter’s Battle With Eye Disease