Thank you for visiting my "MG Walk" personal fundraising page!
As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis Disorder about 18 months ago. But, something many of you may not understand is just what MG is and what someone living with MG experiences. Myasthenia Gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that causes fluctuating weakness of the voluntary muscle groups. Essentially, having MG means that your body’s own immune system, for unknown reasons, begins to attack itself. This attack is caused by the production of an AChR antibody that destroys up to 80% of receptor sites on the muscle fiber side of the neuromuscular junction, blocking the ability of nerve impulses that arise in the brain to travel down and communicate properly.
My personal journey with this illness started as a series of unexplained, and seemed at the time unrelated, health issues that lingered on for over a year. For me, symptoms started as migraine headaches, progressively worsened into migraines that included loss of muscle function and memory. Then, I began to notice an inability to swallow, a difficulty chewing throughout the course of a meal, and severely slurred speech as the day went on and I became fatigued. Soon after this, I began to notice even more physical changes such as my ability to grip, my shoulder strength and hip movement. Over the course of 6 months, I lost approximately 30 pounds as a result of my symptoms. I saw numerous doctors, was referred to many specialists, all to no avail.
On June 6, 2016 I finally received a diagnosis, I had Myasthenia Gravis Disorder. I felt an overwhelming feeling of devastation, but surprisingly an even more powerful feeling of relief. Relief that I finally had an answer. Relief that I could now start taking steps towards doing whatever I had to do to get past this! In July, I had a thymectomy, a surgical procedure to remove my thymus, with the hopes of remission someday. I was put on powerful immunosuppressant medicaions and treatment to manage the everyday symptoms I experienced due to MG. With this came many adjustments in life, day to day. My biggest struggle, and blessing, during this time was teaching every day! As a teacher you stand all day, talk all day, move all day, and are exposed to illness on a daily basis. I could go on and on about the physical demands of teaching, but even though it was sometimes a challenge to make it through the day, I still wouldn’t have rather been doing anything else. I love my job and I love my kids. I fought to be at school, in the classroom with them every day.
Last year I made a promise to all of you and myself, that this disorder would not get the best of me. It would not change who I am, or defeat me. Today, I am happy to tell all of you that I not only have kept that promise, but I have made leaps and bounds in my battle against MG. On August 1, 2017 I was diagnosed in REMISSION!
What a blessing this has been for me and so many people who make up my world! I am blessed to have had such an amazing support system throughout this journey. Blessed to have made it to a point where the good days are overwhelmingly outnumbering the bad days.
I hope you will consider being a part of this event, it would mean a lot to me! If you have any questions about the event, registering or making a donation, please feel free to contact me anytime!