sibling mistrust Feature

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) Feature

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 Feature

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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Community member, David G, sent in this story in response to one of our story requests. This is our first story about Moebius Syndrome., a rare neurological condition that researchers estimate affects 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 500,000 newborns. It can be…
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Dan “Dry Dock” Shockley is a Health Stories Project member from California who, after retiring from the military and surviving hereditary colon cancer, is the definition of a warrior. He recently responded to our Shared Experiences story request about people sharing important experiences…
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 This story was written by a community member, Cindy B. She responded to one of our story requests about life with cancer.   Two years ago, a growth in my pulmonary artery was discovered by accident.  Since then, a diagnosis of fibromuscular dysplasia and…
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MacKenzie is a Health Stories Project member from Kentucky who is most passionate about changing the way people see folks with multiple sclerosis, “They tend to focus on all the things we can’t do instead of all the things we can.” She recently responded…
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Taking the time to listen and care for your body is a critical life-skill. This is true for everyone, but especially when you’re living with chronic health conditions.  Sylvia of Virginia is living with lupus SLE, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), depression,…
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Jae knows a thing or two about change. A passionate writer and volunteer in Chicago, he discovered he was living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2019. We would like to thank him for sharing candidly about the first stages of this life-changing diagnosis….
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Allyson's Art Journal

This description of healing and personal growth was written by community member, Allyson L. She responded to one of our story requests. Please leave your words of encouragement and inspiration in the comments below. I’ve always been crafty. I took the basic art…
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Putting Stigma To Bed Featured

Rachel from Dallas, Texas lives with Narcolepsy and is determined to flip the script when it comes to invisible illness. She is especially concerned with fighting stigma surrounding life with narcolepsy and echoes what many with this condition say, “[there are movies where…
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