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Spring Can Be a Challenge for Those With EPP

With spring upon us, the birds are singing earlier in the morning. The flowers and trees will soon bud. Our clocks have already “sprung” forward. The air is warm, and the sun shines brighter and longer than it has in months. But for some, the signs of spring…

What We Get for Staying Sick and Victimized

My acute hepatic porphyria (AHP) diagnosis was a whirlwind that transformed my life and the lives of my loved ones. It took a series of dramatic attacks for doctors to take me seriously. Sadly, this is not uncommon for people with AHP. After nearly two decades searching for answers, I…

Let’s Keep Rare Disease Day Momentum Going

Rare Disease Day, observed yesterday, involved many awe-inspiring and well-organized virtual events attended by people from all over the world. This annual day of observance generates awareness about some 7,000 known rare diseases and over 300 million people who live with them. According to Global Genes, about 80%…

This Rare Disease Day, Only Share Your Story if You’re Ready

Every February, my inbox fills with information about Rare Disease Day webinars, forums, and promotions. On social media, patients and caregivers raise awareness through campaigns such as #ShowYourStripes or #ShareYourRare. In Washington, D.C., advocates from around the country gather virtually and in-person to ask their members of Congress for…

Will You Join Us on Rare Disease Day 2022?

Rare Disease Day on Feb. 28 is a critical day, although every day is Rare Disease Day when you are living with or caring for someone who has one. The experience is often isolating and lonely, but on this special day, we are all urged to come together as…

Staying in Bed Doesn’t Mean I’m Lazy

I’m a huge fan of mornings. They once stood for solid productivity. Before reporting to the office at 8 a.m., I’d have a three-mile run, meal preparation, personal email, and news headlines all checked off my list. These days I stay in bed, often until 9 or 10 a.m. Still,…

It’s Time to Rewrite the Definition of Porphyria Pain

There is a general lack of understanding and awareness when it comes to pain associated with acute porphyria attacks. Porphyria pain is not well defined in research. It’s misunderstood by doctors and industry professionals, and it’s easy to see why. Pain cannot be objectively measured or seen, and…

How I’ve Rethought New Year’s Resolutions

In recent years, I’ve overhauled my idea of goal setting. A few years ago, I sat down one January to write my New Year’s resolutions in the midst of having acute porphyria attacks and filling out long-term disability applications. My pen hovered, frozen above the page. Uncertainty is stressful.