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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How do you cope with an immensely painful medical condition many doctors don’t even know exists? Long before she knew it, that was the problem facing Maria Martinez. Early in 2008, Maria and her son were raking in the yard when she noticed…
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Cord Blood Awareness

For Diane Paradise, an anonymous stranger’s decision to bank cord blood has provided nothing less than a new lease on life. The problems began as a lump in her underarm. Even after an early diagnosis called it a “fatty tumor” and a needle…
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Understanding prediabetes

You’ve probably heard that type 2 diabetes is on the rise. According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control in its 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 29.1 million people living in the U.S., more than 9 percent of the population, have…
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For many diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the initial emotional response is joy that doctors have identified the source of illness, and a renewed hope that a healthy life is once again possible. Soon after comes a realization that many of one’s favorite foods…
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Who is the expert in directing your healthcare? Hint: It’s not your doctor. You might not wear a white lab coat or have a medical degree, but you know your body best. Of course, doctors are still very important in guiding your care….
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There was never any question whether Rayna DuBose was tough. Graduating from high school in 2001 with a scholarship to play basketball at Virginia Tech, Rayna took no prisoners on the court. Whether shooting hoops, playing volleyball or dancing ballet, Rayna never held…
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On May 31st, 1994, President Clinton signed National Men’s Health Week into existence. Why? Because men were dying, on average, seven years earlier than women. Because men were 150 percent less likely than women to visit a doctor for preventive care. And, finally,…
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It was a typical Atlanta morning in January, 1991. Herb Silverman, then 27, was up early and doing his morning workout at the small gym in his apartment complex when something went awry. “I felt lightheaded and dizzy but didn’t know what the…
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Health Stories Project is about highlighting personal experiences to inspire and educate people about what it’s like to live with specific health conditions. Sometimes these experiences begin very early in life. A significant number of children and teens are affected by health issues…
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Mothering a Butterfly Child

Imagine your skin is so fragile that just rubbing it causes it to blister. And not just the skin you can see. Eating can cause the skin in your mouth and throat to blister as well. Sounds terrible, right? This is what life…
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Some health issues knock you off your feet. Others creep up so slowly you barely notice them until you’ve been living with them for a while. For Scarlet Hartwell, hepatitis C was one of the creepers. Hepatitis C is a virus that can…
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We recently spoke with Jessica Gimeno, author of the blog Fashionably ill: The Sick Woman’s Stylist. As someone who fights mental illness and chronic pain daily, Jessica is dedicated to helping people survive chronic illnesses with style and humor. Check out what she…
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The last year has been a good one for Steven Koston. Now 44, the Wisconsin native works in sales and loves to get out on the golf course when he’s not spending time with his wife, Barbara, and their two children. If you…
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If you met Carlyle King, you probably wouldn’t think he’s autistic. He’s easy to talk with, seems to do fine in social situations, and works at Boise State University as an information technology professional with a focus on maintaining learning management systems. But…
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When a family experiences a significant health event, such as illness, injury, or death, it has an impact on everyone. For children especially, it often leads to confusion and questions: Why are we spending so much time at the hospital? What are all…
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Jill Conley was 31-years old when she was diagnosed with stage IIIB breast cancer. She and her husband Bart started Jill’s Wish to help others like her. You were diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer about three months after marrying your husband, Bart. Can you…
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January, 1980. Things were looking good for Mark Tallman. He had just been promoted at the oil company he worked for to run one of its warehouses near Salem, Ore. As he was conducting the inventory one morning, he dropped his pen. Paying…
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What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever given somebody? Was it homemade or did you buy it? Did you put it in a box or wrap it? Think about how it made you feel. What if you could give someone a gift that…
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Looking back, Debbie finds her reaction to being diagnosed with melanoma pretty hard to believe. Only 28 years old at the time, she noticed a suspicious-looking mole on her right calf (it was asymmetrical). Her instincts told her that she should get it…
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The first year of college can be tough. You’re out on your own, classes get harder, you have to make a whole new group of friends, things like that. How about all of the above, plus your lung function suddenly drops to below…
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