Medford, NJ — Josh Borrelli, the star player on the Shawnee High School basketball team, suffers from a rare autoimmune disease that requires him to visit a tanning salon every day.
Borrelli suffers from Mucha-Habermann disease, and when he was diagnosed with the disorder in the eighth grade, he was the only person in the country with it.
According to the Philadephia Inquirer, there is no known cause or cure for the skin condition:
“The disease is characterized by rashes and lesions that form on the skin, usually on the trunk and arms and legs. Borrelli takes medication, but his main treatment is eight minutes a day in a tanning bed, as ultraviolet therapy keeps the disease in check.
“He can’t miss a day, either.”
Yahoo! Sports reports that the non-contagious disease went into remission while Borrelli was still in eighth grade but the lesions came back at the beginning of his senior year, so he resumed the tanning regimen.
The Inquirer explains that “people close to Borrelli marvel at his maturity and positive attitude in the face of a rare disease that requires an unusual and potentially embarrassing treatment.”
The Opposing Views website notes that “doctors tell Borrelli he can not miss a single day of tanning as the disease could come back at any time and cause life-threatening complications.”
As quoted by the Inquirer, Josh Borrelli admitted that “it’s tough sometimes. But I realize there are people who are a lot less fortunate than me.”
Watch an ABC News report on Josh Borrelli and Mucha-Habermann disease: