Vote to Help Marti Win a Mobile Van
Marti Zavala has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and has an opportunity to win a mobile van to help her become more independent. Please click on the link at the bottom of this article to vote for Marti!
“I have a progressively-debilitating genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome-Hypermobility Type. My body makes weak, “elasticky” collagen affecting many body systems – from muscles, tendons, bones to blood vessels and organs. My biggest issue is weak blood vessels that dilate when I stand causing dizziness, high heart rate, and passing out. Loose joints cause painful dislocations requiring me to use caution in how I move my body so as not to cause permanent damage and pain.
I have also been diagnosed with Natural Killer Cell Deficiency resulting in difficulty fighting viruses. I manage this through daily anti-virals and careful lifestyle management. Fatigue is the biggest issue, as I have flu-like symptoms every day.
Through years of research to get accurately diagnosed, I have become the moderator of two Yahoo health groups since 2004 and two Facebook health groups since 2011. It brings great satisfaction to help others better manage their illnesses through education and I have made friends from all over the world.
I also volunteer for my son’s college, Olin College of Engineering. I have been on the Parent Advisory Board for 4 years and have been Chair of the Networking Committee for two years. Previously, I was Advancement Coordinator for his Boy Scout troop.
For my church, I volunteer with office work, coordinate Youth Breakfast and speakers for the AWANA Children’s program, and manage the Emergency Prayer Request line. As my illness has progressed, I have had to give up teaching Sunday School and being an AWANA Director. Having dependable, safe wheelchair transportation would allow me to resume these duties.
Though I deal with pain and fatigue, I try to make each day productive in some way. My goal is to return to the workforce, but even if my health does not allow this, I will always be a volunteer. I live alone and the closest family member that can help me lives two hours away. A mobility van would be an answered prayer to replace my car, which has over 110k miles and needs constant repair.
While there is no cure for my medical conditions, I choose to live as if each day is a gift and share my blessings with others through my volunteer efforts. I do not want my illnesses to define me; I want to be remembered for the help I have given others who are also struggling and continue to persevere.”
Marti is a very deserving candidate to receive this mobile van. Please vote for her.
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