Shannon T, Montana
After suffering from my first mini-stroke at the age of 25, I was diagnosed with CADASIL, Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy. It is a rare, inherited arterial disease of the brain, which results in recurrent strokes and can affect the heart as well. There is not a cure or a treatment for the disease at this time. Both my mother and grandmother have the disease, and have suffered from major strokes starting in their forties. Not only have the women in my family had to endure the effects of this condition, my father has survived two major heart attacks. Unfortunately, I lost my oldest brother six years ago to a heart attack at the age of 37. After feeling depressed and hopeless, I decided to take action and get passionate about my health. I became proactive with my doctors to explore options for different medications, and also changed my lifestyle by eating right and being more physically fit. Because of my plan, I have lost 85 pounds and have kept my symptoms under control for the last few years, and have never felt better!