14erOdyssey – Bravelets

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About this cause:

Many of you know that this year has been challenging for Abby. Out of the blue this energetic and vibrant 14 y.o. teen who was gearing up to conquer the 14ers of Colorado, enjoyed playing soccer, swimming and her violin was barely able to attend school. Thankfully with our medical background and resources, we were able to determine fairly quickly that Abby has Dysautonomia and/or POTS. This is a very poorly recognized and understood condition where a person becomes unable to regulate their autonomic nervous system, causing high heart rate and low blood pressure. The primary symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, activity and exercise intolerance, fatigue and brain fog.

We will never know how or why this happened to Abby, but we do know how to help her gradually improve. Her daily routine involves eating a lot of salt, drinking a lot of water and doing very low level exercise to help retrain her body in getting the blood out of her arms and legs and back to her heart and brain. It is an exhausting process that involves many backward steps in an effort to creep forward.

Dysautonomia International is a fantastic non-profit organization working to increase awareness, education and research around autonomic disorders. The volunteer Medical Advisory Board includes researchers and physicians from the major institutions working to better understand Dysautonomia in its wide variety of presentations worldwide.

Abby would be delighted if you would consider wearing a Bravelet to help support her journey to restore her energy level to that of a typical teenager. We have no idea how long our 14erOdessey will take, but we are up for the challenge! Proceeds from Bravelets will go towards Dysautonomia International to help better understand how to diagnose and treat these conditions. Abby has been extremely fortunate as we were able to find a local cardiologist who understood her condition and can guide our recovery. Most people suffer 3-4 years without a diagnosis, which leads to much anxiety and frustration.

Thank you for your support. Turquoise is the official color of Dysautonomia, but many options are available. It would be a lonely journey without you!!

Rick, Nicole, Abby and Tori