"When I was younger they told me I would never walk again, but I grew up playing basketball, running and just doing everything possible… I was able to beat the odds on that, and I intend to beat to odds on MG."
This is the story of MG patient Eri Abdiel.
Eri has always been a fighter; he recalls a defining moment as a young boy where he was able to overcome a physical challenge: “I played on the escalator and lost two and a half toes. They told me I would never walk again or I would need special shoes if I do walk. I ended up growing up playing basketball, running and just doing everything possible without special shoes. I was able to beat the odds on that, and I intend to beat to odds with MG.”
The doctors said: “You are perfectly healthy”. I told the doctors: “Well, I’m not, but if you say I’m healthy, I don’t need to be here.” They called me back a week later, and said: “We found out that you have MG.”
Eri reflects on the time from when he first had symptoms until the time he was diagnosed with MG:
“I was playing basketball and I kept falling. I didn’t know why. All I knew is that one part of my body wasn’t working. At some point I noticed that my voice started changing, I could feel that in my throat. I couldn’t eat normally and I couldn’t talk. If I got stressed out, my voice would change and I couldn’t swallow. I ate bananas and oatmeal for like a month, because I couldn’t eat anything else. While I was working I would just eat oatmeal and cough a lot, nothing that I ate would go down. During that time, I lost like 20 pounds. I didn’t know what it was.
The early tests did not come back right away for MG. They ran like… 50 or 60 tests on me. Everything came back normal. The doctors said: “You are perfectly healthy”. I told the doctors: “Well, I’m not, but if you say I’m healthy, I don’t need to be here.” So I checked out and they called me back a week later, and said: “We found out that you have MG.” I remember asking, “What is it?” The doctors answered, “Well, it’s a muscular autoimmune disease.”
The right mindset is a very big key to staying positive. Always, no matter what.
A positive mindset has contributed to Eri’s happiness:
“There were a lot of people in my life that were positive, and they were coaching me through this. My great-grandma and my mother said: ‘Okay. We’re not going to give you any special treatment. You’re going to be a normal kid and you’ll do what you need to do.’ I was able to get through with that mindset."
The obstacle of getting the MG diagnosis reminded Eri of when he had to beat the odds with his foot injury as a child. The MG diagnosis was just a new challenge he had to face.
Eri recalls thinking: “Okay. Another thing, MG – we’re going to get through this. For me it is very important to have friends and family around, that care about you and your well-being. They are there as a support mechanism, a family unit, even though you’re lost on what direction to go in because you don’t know what’s wrong with you. That’s a very big key: mindset & positivity, always no matter what.”