‘I was told, ‘We didn’t want your head to pop off.’ There was a serious problem.’: Woman diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome after 10 years of being doubted by doctors because ‘it can be very difficult be taken seriously as a teenage girl’

“I felt my skull slide into my throat. I immediately started gagging and pushed my chair on its hind legs. It can be very difficult to be a teenage girl and be taken seriously. This wasn’t the first or last time I’d be doubted about my symptoms. Being doubted really plays with your head. I was never a dramatic attention seeking individual.”

‘People think it’s gross, but without this bag of poop on my stomach, I wouldn’t be here.’: Young woman diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, says life ‘isn’t fair,’ but it’s ‘downright beautiful’

“Growing up, I wasn’t grateful for anything. Then I got sick. I went from picture-perfect health to being too frail to even move. I was rushed to the ER. ‘We need to act fast!’ My heart stopped, my breathing hitched, and suddenly I knew what was coming. He lowered the mask onto my face, and I remember thinking ‘please’ over and over again.”

‘I stood hand poised over the silver handle saying my silent goodbye, wondering if I should wake my husband. The first time I flushed was in the bathroom of my old apartment.’: Woman recounts traumatic miscarriage

“Just 3 days before, I had been standing on that same linoleum floor staring at two blue lines. Six months later, I flushed again. I did it alone. I am done worrying what others will think. All I can do is hope that those who turn away, never have to make the same decision I did.”

‘How old are you?’ I thought that was strange. ‘I’m 26,’ I told him. ‘Oh, you’re young. This could mean nothing.’: Mom says the ‘beauty far outweighs the challenges’ of daughter’s Down syndrome diagnosis

“The nurses started to really study Lucy. I could hear them say she was ‘really floppy, and was not moving her arms and legs.’ That her arms and legs would flop down to the table when the nurses would pick them up. Finally, she asked if she could speak candidly to us. I still feel those conflicting emotions every now and again, but my grateful and happy feelings far outweigh the fearful or sad ones.”

‘This orange long-sleeve blouse will work.’ I picked the outfit I would wear to stare at the face of the man who raped me.’: Woman overcomes sexual assault

“At 21-years-old I found out I was going to be a mother, then shortly following that news I found out I would be a single mother. With no degree, no plan, and no guidance I would be taking on an unfamiliar journey; emotionally alone. I began to feel like I had become a victim and stereotype as a result of my pain from being raped. Everything I had worked to not be I had become.”