Feature

Rosemary’s health concerns date back to 1984, when she was diagnosed with lupus and interstitial lung disease. In the decades since, she has been diagnosed with several other conditions, making each year more complex and challenging than the last. Looking back on her…
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Feature

Zoann managed asthma symptoms for nearly two decades only to find that the doctors she saw over those years had never truly seen her. They had never looked beyond her diagnosis to see that she had multiple health issues going on.  When Zoann…
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Pain has shaped Pam’s life for decades, both physical and mental. Others’ pain, too. She has served as a caregiver for multiple family members and in more recent years, after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, shifted focus to her own…
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member art MSA Feature

In 2021, Cathy sent us her story about her harrowing experiences leading up to, and following, a multiple system atrophy (MSA) diagnosis. We checked in with her before publishing it, and in the time between, she had forgotten exactly what she’d shared with…
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Support Quote Feature

Two similar people living with the same health condition may have varying symptoms, a range of responses to daily difficulties and unique ways of finding peace. The very concept of “support” means one thing to you and likely something altogether different to your neighbor….
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walking in nature Feature

For many years, Megan’s multiple physical and mental health conditions have proven difficult to treat with standard medications. As a result, she has found alternate ways to find relief and peace. Here she shares some of what she has experienced and how she’s…
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psoriasis

Diane was diagnosed with psoriasis in 1963, a condition no one had ever seen in the town she was growing up in. She experienced situations she doesn’t want others to live through, so she now advocates for others living with the same conditions…
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fibromyalgia

Like so many people living with conditions that don’t present with obvious symptoms, Carol has repeatedly experienced others’ insensitivity. Here Carol shares some of these comments and offers advice to those who find themselves facing similar circumstances. With the year coming to a…
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Three of Sarah's Children

Several years ago, Sarah found herself in an extremely difficult situation involving family bonds and financial challenges. The life of one of her children was at stake, yet so was the livelihood of herself and two of her other children. No one should…
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Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare condition with only 500-1000 new cases being diagnosed each year in the U.S. Symptoms of PAH may include shortness of breath (dyspnea) especially during exercise, chest pain and fainting episodes. For the past few weeks, we…
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Daniel Is Anal Cancer-Free in 2021

Daniel had already lived with HIV for many years when he was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2015. Given his existing challenges, he believed he could persevere but that didn’t make his reality any easier. Now cancer-free, when looking back at the experience…
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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

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

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

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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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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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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Jo, Who Lives with Multiple Conditions, Focuses on Quality of Life

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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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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Health Stories Project was created to give people opportunities to share their personal health experiences and to learn from the experiences of others.

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