Page 19 - NGA NATURALmag 2018 FALL Issue
P. 19

for further testing and and had become frustrated as
I was handed off from one specialist to another all o of whom had varying opinions about my diagno- sis The The first neurologist suspected that rather than a a a a a a a a brain tumor I I had had two two silent silent strokes The The sec-
ond neurologist didn’t agree that I I I had had two two silent silent strokes rather after reviewing the the MRI results he he he was almost certain I I had Multiple Sclerosis (MS) He referred me me to see yet another neurologist who spe- cialized in in fin in in in treating MS and this time he he ordered a a a a a a a a a final final series of tests including a a a a a a a a a a a a Spinal Tap After that final final final test test sitting fin in in in fin in in fin in a a a a a a a a a a a a a a hospital
room the neurologist finally came fin in in fin in to confirm that I at at 24 years old had MS At this point I began to set a a a a new goal for myself I I would strengthen my my body
through weight-train- ing ing and and use the the the fitness platform to to inspire others with disabilities to to not give up and and and keep pushing through I I began began lifting rigorously and and my body
began began to transform although I I was still at war with the disease Lifting became difficult weights would fall out of my my hand and and my my health continued to to decline My doctor’s prognosis was that I would end up up in in in a a a a a a a a a a a wheelchair in in in a a a a a a a a a a a couple of years and had begun to use a a a a a a a a a a a a cane semi-regularly All the the while I I I could only think of the the the goals I I I may never reach and and the the burden I I I would become on
my already struggling family But low low and and behold a a a a a a a a a fellow patient told me about the the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) she had undergone to to to to stop the the progression of of MS HSCT HSCT involves an an an intravenous (IV) infusion of of stem cells to to re-establish hemato- poietic function in in in patients whose bone marrow or or immune system is damaged or or defective after using chemotherapy to eradicate the the the the rogue T & B cells in in the the the the patient’s body
I I knew that this was the the the the answer! So when November of of 2016 rolled around I I flew out of of the country to SUCCESSFULLY undergo HSCT The truth is after I I I was was diagnosed I I I almost gave up And sadly I’m not alone But it fit was was fitness and HSCT that saved me It changed the the way way I I I I I think the the way way I I I I feel about myself and and I I I I learned how power- ful and and resilient the the human body
truly is Most importantly it taught me that the the the only real barriers we we face are the the the the the ones we we set for ourselves I want to to inspire others to to to to be be be the the the the best versions of themselves disability or or not I I I I want people to to to be be be able to to to look in in the mirror and say “YES! I I I I DID IT!” n
Fall 2018

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