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Jaimee, age 16, Nevada

I was about 10 or 11 when I first started showing symptoms. It started with a purple tinge to my lips, then it moved to cramping and tightness in my heels that made it very difficult to walk. By 12, I would lose complete consciousness for minutes at a time. Only about three times a year, till around age 13 it started happening more and more often, every other month.

Along with this, I was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope. With rounds of blood work and dozens of doctors appointments, they sent me to the Stanford Hospital. At Stanford they told me to drink water and that I was anxious. That I was just being paranoid and needed to let myself grow. I went home and cried and screamed into my pillow.

I’ve just been living with my symptoms until December 2nd, 2022. I had an MRI, my first ever, where they found a mass on the right side of my brain. So we aren’t entirely certain of what to do now. We have an upcoming neurologist appointment to determine how to best move forward. My journey continues.