In 2011, I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Myasthenia Gravis. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that affects voluntary muscles. Common symptoms can include a drooping eyelid, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, difficulty chewing and swallowing, weakness in the arms and legs, chronic muscle fatigue and difficulty breathing. The weakness tends to increase with continued activity and can be improved with periods of rest. Not everyone will display all symptoms, and symptoms can fluctuate.
This disability caused me to become very dependent on my family. Everything changed; I had to take 35 pills every day and get infusions every three weeks that lasted eight hours. I spent years in and out of the hospital several times on life support. One summer after being taken off of life support, I realized I did not have feeling in my left leg. Because I was bedridden for two weeks, the nerves in my leg was compressed and damaged. The nerve damage caused excruciating pain. The doctors were not sure if I would ever walk again. I was determined to walk again and begin to cry out in prayer. I took my few steps with a walker the very next morning. After seeing my remarkable progress, the doctors sent me home and enrolled me in the Kennedy Krieger outpatient therapy program. My mom had stopped working to care for my needs and my dad worked constantly. At times, she had to help bathe and clothe me because my body was too weak. On my bad days, I laid in bed because my body was too weak to get up. When I would try to get up, my legs felt like spaghetti noodles and would give out on me. Because I could not do for myself, I was depressed and sometimes discouraged.
Living with disability started to have a major affect on my social and academic life. I missed weeks of school because of my low immune system. I spent most of high school being taught at home. When I first told my friends that I was sick, they asked a lot of questions. Some of my friends started to distance them self from me. They could not understand why I was so sick and could not do the stuff I used to do. To them I looked healthy, but I was really sick. My friends would say ”Jada, you look fine" and "stop being lazy." At times I would feel alone because I did not get the support that I thought I needed from my friends. My family was always there to support me; with prayer and encouragement, I began to understand and accept my illness. I use my story to help and encourage others like me. I believe everything happens for a reason.
Currently, I am taking 16 pills a day. I have my good days and bad days, but most of my symptoms have subsided. I am looking into new treatments that will push me into remission. Living with this disease has helped me become a better person in life. I learned that hardships are not placed in your life to hinder you, but to help you grow and elevate. This experience taught me to never take the little things for granted and to live life to the fullest. Having this illness has helped me discover that my full purpose in life is to help and encourage others. I am very blessed to have my family and new friends.
Thank you for visiting my "MG Walk" personal fundraising page!
I am excited to be supporting the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) through the MG Walk. The MGFA is the only national volunteer health agency in the United States dedicated solely to the fight against myasthenia gravis.
MGFA is committed to finding a cure for myasthenia gravis and closely related disorders, improving treatment options, and providing information and support to people with myasthenia gravis through research, education, community programs, and advocacy.
Please register to walk with me OR make a pledge to help me reach my goal!
WALK: Saturday, September 30th, 2017
Middle Branch Park, Baltimore, MD (3301 Waterview Ave. Baltimore, MD)
Together We Can Make A Difference!!!!