May 30, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Imagine waking up one day and being told you have a disease that can’t be cured.
May is Ehler-Danlos Awareness Month.
Ehler-Danlos or EDS is a connective tissue disorder. A person with EDS has a system that makes faulty collagen or “glue” that keeps everything in the body together.
EDS does not have a cure, but the symptoms are treatable.
Meaghan McLaughlin of West Bend is an EDS warrior.
She is senior and will graduate in the Class of 2018 at West Bend High School.
Meaghan’s EDS affects her daily life. Day to day she expects she will always in be pain, affecting the way she does things.
At 17 years old she was able to mange her day-to-day symptoms.
Her pain is similar to having a sprained ankle but the pain never goes away.
When she’s not in pain Meaghan enjoys horseback riding, hanging with friends, playing her ukulele and guitar, ice skating,writing at coffee shops, and she loves to travel.
Meaghan’s disease took years to properly diagnosis. She started with symptoms postural orthostatic intolerance (POS).
This means when she went from lying to standing there was reduced blood flow to the heart which caused the heart rate to go up and blood pressure to drop. Meaghan was fainting multiple times a day.
She went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to help with her diagnosis, but the problem continued and became so bad she couldn’t go to school or out in the public because of fainting.
Teachers came to Meaghan’s home. Eventually EDS type 3 was diagnosed; hypermobilty is the most common type of EDS.
Meaghan is excited to walk across the stage in the up coming weeks at graduation.
Meaghan wants others to know EDS is an awful thing but people who have it can still be in charge of their life and lead themselves to success.
May is EDS Awareness Month but Meaghan want us to keep raising awareness all year long.
About the Author: Brooke Reuter is a 16 years old and home schooled in West Bend. She suffers EDS and is working to raise awareness about this disease. You can read more about Brooke’s journey by clicking HERE.