Come and join us for the 2018 New England MG Walk as we continue taking “steps” toward the ultimate finish line…a world without myasthenia gravis! Register now to join an existing team, or to start and Captain your own!
All that’s left after that is to create and customize your FREE personal fundraising page, share your connection to myasthenia gravis and start fundraising!
It was back in October 2014 when Jessica first started to notice the symptoms that would start her journey with MG. Having just had her impacted wisdom teeth removed, she started to notice issues with swallowing water and was having strange things happening with her speech, sounding as if she was talking with a lisp. About a month later, the symptoms were still present and others around her, those she worked with in medicine, were noticing something wasn’t right and should be checked out.
And so started the next few months of doctors and tests trying to figure out what was going on. Jessica started by going back to her dentist who initially thought it to be TMJ. However, with the symptoms coming and going every month, it was soon recognized that TMJ was not the answer. In May of 2015, Jessica’s symptoms became worse, and at the end of a shift at the hospital, she started experiencing double vision and became increasingly concerned. This was when she started to see Dr. Tracey Milligan, a general neurologist of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Even though Jessica wasn’t presenting symptoms at the time of her visit, Dr. Milligan was completely thorough in her assessment, doing all she could to figure out what the underlying cause was of all these symptoms. All the tests came back negative, and with the life changes Jessica was experiencing (moving to a new city, a new job) it was thought this could all be a result of stress, though Dr. Milligan was not convinced. When Jessica showed abnormalities in the swallowing and eye fatigue tests in her second appointment, the idea that it could be MG was introduced. She was referred to Dr. Anthony Amato of Brigham Young Women’s at the end of September, who did an EMG test and felt confident even just looking at Jessica that she had MG. The test came back positive for MuSk. After moving to Dallas, Jessica received treatment from Dr. Steven Vernino of University of Texas Southwestern who worked with her to find the correct treatments. Eventually they found the right treatment, and just this year, 3 years after her diagnosis, she was able to smile as she had before for the first time. She finally felt like herself again and was told she is now in remission of MG.
While in Dallas, it was very lonely dealing with such a new normal so far away from her family on the east coast. She did a lot of research about MG and constantly used MGFA as a resource to find information, especially for possible treatments as she and her doctor worked to find the right one. She eventually learned about the Walk, and while there wasn’t one in Dallas, there was one in New England. When she moved back home, she knew this was the best way to get involved, meet new people, hear more stories, and not feel so alone.
As the New England MG Walk Hero, Jessica wants to share her story and show that there is hope for a great outcome, as she was able to experience. Reserved about sharing her story in the beginning, she know welcomes the opportunity to share it with the community so that no one going through their journey with MG is ever doing so alone. It’s been a great way to give back to the MGFA and in her first year of fundraising for the MG Walk, she and her team brought in over $8,000!
Jessica continues to share her story and keep inspiring hope to those living with MG. In her own words: “Your resources are everywhere and extend even beyond the MGFA… you have friends, family and loved ones that want to help – even if they don’t completely understand what you are going through, that’s ok.. Know that asking for help does not mean you are succumbing to this disease rather you are learning to live your best life despite it. You may have MG, but MG does not have you. You are not alone, you can do this.”
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On MG Walk Day, we gather to celebrate those we love who live with MG, commemorate the research we’ve helped to develop with funds raised!
Share your fundraising page and links to donate via email and on your social media accounts. If you have checks or cash funds to turn in, please let us know and we can help you add them to your fundraising page. Checks may be mailed to the address below. Please be sure you’ve written your team name in the memo field!
MG Walk Office
1707 N. Randall Rd, Suite 200
Elgin, IL 60123
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