Rare Disease Forces Teen To Tan Every Day, Josh Borrelli stars on his prep basketball team but can’t celebrate victories with his teammates. Pennsylvania hoops senior stars despite disease which forces him to visit tanning salon every day, Shawnee (N.J.) High senior basketball star Josh Borrelli is often the “MVP” of his team’s victories. He scores 20 or more points practically every time he steps on to the floor and has the kind of smooth shot from distance that can easily translate to the next level. In short, he has all the ingredients to be the Shawnee basketball team’s big man on campus.
Yet, as it turns out, Borrelli has yet to even celebrate one of his team’s victories with his teammates, for a rather compelling reason: He has to get to a tanning bed fast on doctor’s orders.
As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Borrelli suffers from a phenomenally rare skin disease called Mucha-Habermann, which is an auto-immune condition which causes his skin to break out in rashes and lesions. Mucha-Habermann is one of the nation’s most rare diseases – the Inquirer reported that when he was diagnosed, Borrelli was the only person in America who had the condition — and so little is known about it that at the moment it has no known cause or cure.
Rather, all Borrelli can do is take medicine and spend eight minutes per day in an ultraviolet tanning booth. To ensure that the ultraviolet technique is effective, Borrelli can’t miss a single day.