In 2009, I was off to Colorado to start a new exciting chapter in life as a Musical Theatre Major at CU Boulder. About 3 weeks in I stayed back one day because I was feeling super run down. That night I woke up in my dorm room and headed to the bathroom, I didn't make it too far as I started blacking out and ran right into a wall. The next day my eyes were highlighter yellow and I kept passing out. This started about a month stay in the hospital and daily tests as we tried to figure out what was wrong. It was finally confirmed I had both Wilsons Disease and Hemochromatosis. Once out, It was a rough go, to try to get back into action and try to get back to a normal college life. Little tasks were exhausting, my singing voice completely changed after all the meds as well as my body from the steroids. It was like everything I had worked for was ripped away and I found myself having to start over and figure out a new path. Not to mention being 18 and going to meetings about liver transplants was terrifying, I was not in a good place.
I am so thankful to have had my sister and parents by my side during the whole process. It took awhile but I finally started getting back into a groove, and began dancing again and finding my way. I met my amazing fiancé and have two beautiful kiddos and now reside in Colorado for good.
Wilson's Disease can feel lonely at times as 1 in 30,000 have it and while I am blessed to say I currently am living a pretty normal life, with each test and all the constant blood work it can be an unsettling reminder of where things could turn at any point.
A couple years ago I attended a Wilson's walk in Chicago surrounded by so much family and it was a great reminder of all the support and love that has surrounded me the last 9 years, and it was a chance to hear other peoples stories and meet others who have been affected as well.
This year I am hosting a walk because I find it is so important to know you're not walking alone on this journey! I hope to raise more awareness, and share/learn more peoples stories and make something positive out of what can feel like an otherwise tough situation.