SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – In just a few short weeks, hundreds of people will walk in San Diego to draw awareness for myasthenia gravis.
Known in short as MG, it is an autoimmune disease considered to be rare. It affects just 20 out of every 100,000 people worldwide. MG blocks communication between the nerves and the muscles – causing some to break down at times you can’t predict.
Andrew Kaufman was diagnosed just three years ago following a car accident which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “They found the tumor on my thymus, which is connected to MG. If I had not had the car accident, they never would have found it.”
Saadia has had it for nearly two decades. The first signs showed up when she graduated college. “The droopiness of the eyelids. If I smiled too much, it would look like I was crying and friends would say, are you ok? I would say I am not crying – I am laughing.”
Saadia described her case as moderate. Andrew, however, has been hospitalized several times in crisis mode when the diaphragm muscles give out and he is not able to breath.
On Sunday, November 18th at De Anza Cove Park, Saadia and Andrew will join others fighting MG.
For Andrew it will be his first time taking part in the San Diego MG Walk. For Saadia, it will be her third.
This year, Saadia will be honored as a hero. “I really hope we hit a momentum where people are learning about it, the research community grows.”
Both Andrew and Saadia hope the walk gives MG the exposure it deserves, but the two are also spreading the word through writing.
Saadia is working on a memoir, and Andrew, who has already written several bestselling books, will share his experience with his readers.
If you would like to donate to the cause or join the walk on November 18th, click here.