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WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America
WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America

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Charisse Farmer
Knoxville, TN


"Who Cares" could not be a more appropriate title! I feel that way a lot. I am a 33 year-old mother of two beautiful children. My daughter is 10 and my son is 3. Our family was faced with a chronic illness when my son was born. He suffered a grade III brain hemorrhage and has Hydrocephalus. He has a VP shunt which if anyone knows can malfunction (and has) at any time and there is no way to tell how many times it could happen. In 1999, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I have been on a maintenance drug for a little over 1 year. I am doing well and so is my son. I can tell you "family" is the best support group you can find. I praise one 10 year-old girl who has been there for much more than any child should, and a husband who works long hours to provide for us all.

Some days, I admit, I ask myself "Who cares?" I am glad to hear there is someone trying to educate people that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to a chronic illness. The pain and struggle is not always noticeable to others.

YOUR STORIES
Zoe Albright, Stroke
Betty Bennett, Kidney Disease
Roxanne Bedford-Curbow, Seizures
Valerie Brekke, Fibromyalgia
Lily Casura, Chronic Fatigue
Billie Davis, Peripheral Neuropathy
Penny Day, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Julia DeJesus, Seizure Disorder
MS Patient, Fairfax, VA
Charisse Farmer, Hydrocephalus
Katherine Fielder, Chronic Pain
Zoe Francis, Juvenile Diabetes
James Hines, Hemochromatosis
William Holford, Emphysema
Nancy K, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Patricia Lawson, Natural Rubber Latex Allergy
James Locke, Crohn's Disease
Gary Maslow, various
Kathy Matthews, Parkinson's
Andrea Meyer, MS
Gina Owens, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
Alicia Salas, Chronic Pain
Allison Scott, Chronic Pain
Deborah Serrano, Stroke
Becky Shively, Phenylketonuria
Jennifer Smallin, Type I Diabetes
Joanna Southerland, Diabetes
Alina Valdes, Cystic Fibrosis
Elizabeth Wertz, Seizures

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Jose Pedro Greer, Physician
W.F. Nagle, Physician
Ronda Riebman, Exercise
Cathleen Schilling, Case Manager
Jim Sykes

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