Arabel recently developed hereditary angioedema (HAE), a hereditary autoimmune disease. She had just moved off the reservation to a new school when the painful swelling it causes began.
James was born with primary immunodeficiency, which means he doesn’t have a fully functioning immune system. Unable to fight off infections, he has endured constant illness and several life-threatening hospitalizations.
Michele developed an autoimmune disease that left her unable to walk or use her hands. She couldn’t even feed herself and didn’t know if she’d ever return to her career as a lawyer.
Vanessa was born with a severe immune deficiency that caused uncontrollable swelling. Now that she’s on plasma therapy, she can live a normal life.
Crystal was perfectly healthy until she became disabled over the course of six months. She could no longer walk or take care of her children and had to give up the work and physical activities she loved.
Alice developed a rare genetic disease—common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)—late in life. It caused most of the antibodies her body uses to fight infections to disappear, and her health rapidly deteriorated.
Brenda developed multifocal motor neuropathy, an extremely rare disease, in midlife. She became increasingly weak, experienced extreme muscle cramping, and could barely walk.