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Why I Travel 600 Miles to Seek Help for Stiff-Person Syndrome

They say, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Well, I didn’t know that when I received my first and only dose of the original Gardasil HPV vaccine at just 16 years old on August 24, 2012. I, like so many others, was genetically programmed to internally “self-destruct.” My immune system turned on my brain and spinal cord, causing disease in the multiple sclerosis (MS) family. It is called stiff-person syndrome (SPS), and it typically first affects women between the ages of 30 and 60. You have probably never heard of it, and if you have, you have probably never seen the aggressive, pediatric onset of the disease.

I was living in Pittsburgh when the condition started. I had all this access to “world-class medicine,”

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