Tag Archive: Self-Advocacy

My twin sister and I fought to be believed

At 5 years old I remember my thumb and hips popping in and out of place. I would be in horrendous pain but I would keep it to myself. Then I would chat with my identical twin sister then we realized that our pain was very similar.  At around the age of 13, I decided
View page


A selfie of Christie smiling at the camera

Learning to climb the ladder of life again

I, like many working people, especially working mothers can do what I call ‘struggle with the juggle’ of everyday stress, demands, to-do lists, and overbooked calendars. Then add on chronic illness and it can feel like an impossible life. How can we possibly keep all of the moving balls in play? I dropped my juggling
View page


genevieve is taking a selfie, while holding an IV pole

My lightbulb moment

The first sign that something was wrong was my ankles. Anyone walking behind me could see that my feet wobbled as I walked. As a kid, I didn’t realize this was wrong, and I thought that everyone’s feet hurt after walking for 15 minutes. I went to the doctor, and they told me to get
View page


yasmine smiling at the camera with her knee up

The important things lie in the imperfections

I was diagnosed with classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (cEDS) at birth; my mother had it and when her water broke a month and a half early, it was confirmed that I had it too.  As long as I can remember I’ve been in and out of hospitals with some new injury or joint issues. Each year
View page


Aiming at making a difference

My name is Isabella and I just turned 22 at the end of May, which is the awareness month for Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) and hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD). I was diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) back in 2014 and last summer I got the confirmation of my diagnosis based on the new evaluation criteria
View page


michelle's story

Self-advocacy is the most important tool in my toolbox

Don’t be a wallflower, find what works for you! I used to think everyone had constant aches and pains. My high school track and field team delighted me—I adored being part of that group! But running hurt my knees and my back. I had a whole box filled with braces, aces, and splints. So instead,
View page


Kaily's story

Advocacy became my biggest lifeline during my diagnosis journey

TW: Contains mention of suicide. For years, the struggle to find the words to raise awareness for my genetic condition, vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS), has mimicked the years of working through speech therapy, as my family tried to decipher the tongue-tied soliloquy I called talking. A million details scrambled together, just enough to make it
View page


Saryna's EDS story

I’ve learned to stop being ashamed of my condition

I have lived my whole life with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), I don’t know what “normality” is. My whole life has revolved around my disability, my friendships, my relationship, and everyday life. Growing up, I was always that odd one out because of my disability; I had to wear special shoes at school that mostly got
View page


I’ve learned so much from connecting with others in the community

At age 24, I began having severe body pain after having our second child. My family doctor was amazing! After a thorough exam, he referred me to a rheumatologist. In no time, I had a diagnosis of hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS).  After listening to my entire history of being a dancer as a child, always
View page