Ultimately, Roberta was diagnosed with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG). Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a debilitating, chronic, and progressive autoimmune neuromuscular disease.1-3 MG typically begins with weakness in the muscles that control the movements of the eyes and eyelids and often progresses to the more severe and generalized form known as gMG, with weakness of the head, neck, trunk, limb, and respiratory muscles.3
Eventually Roberta’s symptoms worsened to the point where she had to drop out of school and put her dreams of becoming a nurse on hold. Roberta recalls, “I wish that the doctors would have told me that this was something that was going to be with me for the rest of my life and that I’d have to adjust many of the dreams that I had. I learned this cruel truth in time.”
Over the next 20 years, Roberta and her doctor worked together to manage her symptoms. At 35 years old, she revisited her dream and put herself through nursing school, but still struggled with her gMG symptoms and was not able to work full-time.
Roberta’s doctor recommended her for a clinical trial and soon noticed improvements in her voice, her ability to chew and swallow, and her fatigue. In addition, Roberta was able to return to work.
Despite her difficult journey living with gMG, Roberta continues to work with her doctor to manage her symptoms and says, “This experience has taught me to look at the small things that count. Now, I feel that I have something to look forward to and I am who I want to be.”