I was diagnosed with dermatomyositis in 1985 when I was eleven. It began as a skin rash and it was my dermatologist that diagnosed me. Fortunately, he had just been to a conference that had a presentation on this disease. He referred me to a pediatric rhuematologist at the KU Med Center. A few months later I showed signs of muscle weakness and then underwent a EMG (not a fun test for those of you who haven't gone through it). Since my muscles showed signs of weakness, I began taking 40mg of prednisone daily. I gave a great amount of blood each time I went to the doctor and was eventually allowed to taper off my prednisone and was finally "drug free" three years later in 1988. I am now 26 years old and have no signs of a relapse since I was taken off prednisone. I just thought that those of you coping with this disease would like to know that there is hope and I wish you the best. Good luck and hang in there.