Josh Borrelli, Shawnee (Medford, N.J.) senior guard, has been going to tanning salon to treat a rare medical disease.
Borrelli asked his dad to take him to the tanning salon for his first few visits so he could tell the staff that Josh wasn’t there to prep for Spring Break.
“I was kind of embarrassed that they would think I was a guy who wanted to get tan,” says Borrelli.
The New Jersey senior guard has Mucha-Habermann, an extremely rare autoimmune disease that is a type of skin disorder. When Borrelli was first diagnosed with the disease in middle school, he was believed to be the only person in the U.S. to have it.
Mucha-Habermann has no known cause and no known cure. Borrelli had his disease go into remission for almost four years, but then it came back before the start of basketball practice this season. Borrelli takes medication and spends eight minutes a day in a tanning bed, but he hasn’t let this rare disease stop him from playing basketball. Borrelli scored at least 20 points in each of Shawnee’s first couple of games.
“Sometimes, you get a little tired of it, going there all the time or going to the doctors all the time…But I understand I have to do it. It’s just a bump in the road,” says Borrelli.
I’m very sad to hear that a guy like Borrelli has such a rare disease. He is known around New Jersey as a “good guy” and “optimistic” person. Although Mucha-Habermann is a terrible and unique disease, I hope Borrelli continues to live a happy and full life.