Meet Roberta

Diagnosed with gMG at 16 years old

When Roberta was 16 and attending nursing school in her home country of Romania, she started experiencing difficulty brushing her hair and keeping her hands up to write on the blackboard, and she began to slur her words when she spoke. She found herself stepping on the curb on her walk to school and her foot would just flop. Her mom used to describe it as being like a sack of potatoes.

Roberta, diagnosed with gMG at 16 years old

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, diagnosed with gMG at 16 years old, with her dog

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.”


  1. Huda R, Tüzün E, Christadoss P. Targeting complement system to treat myasthenia gravis. Rev Neurosci. 2014:25(4):575-583.
  2. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Myasthenia Gravis Fact Sheet. Accessed September 26, 2019.
  3. Meriggioli MN, Sanders DB. Autoimmune myasthenia gravis: emerging clinical and biological heterogeneity. Lancet Neurol. 2009;8(5):475-490.