Feature

Misty tirelessly advocated for herself until she received a referral to a neurologist that would ultimately lead to finally getting answers she had been searching for. Here she shares her long journey searching for someone to look into her symptoms, her diagnoses of…
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Cowden syndrome Feature

Ciara was diagnosed with Cowden syndrome, a rare medical condition, not too long after getting a thyroid removed, surviving cancer and experiencing heart failure. Loneliness crept in as she managed her multiple conditions. Here she shares her health journey and expresses gratitude towards…
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rheumatoid arthritis sleep apnea lung cancer Feature

Lucy has experienced health issues since she was a teenager. These have carried out throughout her life and into adulthood. Here she shares which symptoms led to her multiple diagnoses, what it’s like living with three distinct conditions and the advice she would…
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Sylvia Recovered from an Unexpectedly Difficult 2003 Hysterectomy Feature

Almost 20 years ago, Sylvia’s “routine” doctor visit quickly became an emergency that would require months of recuperation — and alter the course of her life. She recounts the experience here and offers some advice for facing adversity. Identifying the Problem I walked…
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Feature

Angela B. is most passionate about overcoming the stigma associated with bipolar II disorder and all other mental health diseases.  She puts forth effort by educating and speaking out about her own struggles with these conditions. Here Angela shares who and what have…
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Jo, Who Lives with Multiple Conditions, Focuses on Quality of Life Feature

Fifty-plus years of significant health challenges might break anyone’s spirit. Jo, however, emphasizes the practical and positive despite the adversity of a lifetime of managing a host of issues and conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and psoriasis. Jo’s story…
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multiple sclerosis and melanoma

Kelly Kinard has been through it all. She has experienced symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1992, supported her former husband when he was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and has been battling melanoma since 2010. Here she shares her experience with the…
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heart failure

Heart failure can happen to anyone. In fact, almost 6 million Americans are living with this chronic condition and more than 870,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. Despite its common nature, many people don’t understand the impact it can have on…
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SJIA

In January 2012, Kristen’s youngest of three children, Rylan, suddenly became very sick. Their trying path to a diagnosis for the then-one-year-old was just the beginning of a new and continuously challenging experience — which Rylan and his family have persevered as a…
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lung cancer

There is a very real stigma surrounding lung cancer. Many people believe that the only way you can get lung cancer is through smoking–this is incorrect. Although smoking tobacco is by far the leading cause of lung cancer, it can also be due…
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Jenny in Hospital, pacemaker

Jenny had a pacemaker implanted before she was 40 years old — and that was after experiencing multiple other serious health issues. Since then, she contracted COVID-19 and dealt with long-term symptoms. Given these challenges, Jenny’s survival surprised her as much as the…
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sibling mistrust

Lisa was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in her twenties and experienced a life-changing heart attack two decades later, in 2013. Here she recalls the difficulty of her sister’s lack of support after her heart attack — and celebrates the power of a…
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Beth lives with polycystic kidney disease (PKD)

In 1996, Beth was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which causes cysts to grow inside the kidneys. Over time, this genetic disorder affects the organs’ function, causes chronic kidney disease and leads to kidney failure. Beth’s evolving response to living with PKD…
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multiple myeloma

Richard was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, cancer that develops in plasma cells, in 2014. Here he reflects on a few aspects of his experience with this condition with no known cause.   Onset of Symptoms [I sought medical help after a] steadily increasing…
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deep vein thrombosis, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolism

Life with a serious health condition can be difficult. We have found that some individuals find comfort hearing from others living through similar situations. Our Health Stories Project community members living with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), atrial fibrillation (AFib) or pulmonary embolism (PE)…
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bipolar disorder

Jamie, who has managed multiple mental health conditions — and HIV — for many years, reflects on the importance of support and self-care. Growing & Learning Growing up, I knew I was a little different than other kids. When I was a teenager,…
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pulmonary arterial hypertension

For years following the birth of her son, Jolie experienced pain in her core and difficulty breathing — and medical professionals could find nothing wrong. The truth, eventually discovered after another visit to an emergency room, was that she had a rare and…
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support system

Individuals living with schizophrenia may find it important to have a support person, group or resources. Support can take many forms and may range between a significant other, family members, friends, psychiatrists, therapists, online and in-person communities, hotlines and social media. Unfortunately, some…
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creativity

Hobbies don’t just help us pass the time. These enjoyable activities can have mental and physical health benefits as well. Three Health Stories Project members — Jolie, Kanani and Tyler — share how their creative pursuits help them manage their health, from providing…
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Matt shares his HIV diagnosis

Sometimes revealing an especially personal or difficult matter to others can change everything — for the better. Saying that is one thing, however, and doing it is something altogether different. Here Matt shares his life-changing decision to reveal his human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)…
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eczema

Eczema and various allergies have been with Celeste since birth — and she said she is in menopause today. Here she candidly recalls the challenges she has persevered over the decades and how the stresses of life have intertwined with the shifting intensity…
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heart attack survivor

Brad admitted to putting off medical care when he probably needed it earlier in his life. After a heart attack in 2018, he realized he should take a more proactive approach. Since then, he has dedicated himself to staying active and maintaining his…
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Eczema

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a health condition that makes skin red and itchy. It is most common in people who have a family history of the condition and although it typically develops in early childhood, it can occur at any…
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GVHD

Graft versus host disease (GVHD) is a condition that may occur following a transplant using donor bone marrow or stem cells. More than 20,000 people every year are diagnosed with GVHD. The chances of developing GHVD and its severity may vary between individuals. The…
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Isabel M. from Chaps, New Mexico is living with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or hEDS. At the age of 22, she’s already seen a lifetime of diagnoses. She’s spent half of the past 2 years recovering from 5 surgeries and at the time of…
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positivity is my super power

Heidi P. from Ohio, sent us the following story. Like 3,000 other community members, Heidi has multiple sclerosis (MS), and was diagnosed 29 years ago in 1992. Her MS story reflects what so many  others who have chronic autoimmune conditions have told us….
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