Recipient

Joi D.

Maryland

Fighting against the odds

I’m on a continuous journey of change. My name is Joi, a 34 year old single mom of 3 kids, and my family has kept me going through it all. I have always been sickly but particularly in the last four years, I have been dealt many medical challenges, and learned about my limits and how to overcome them. For years no doctor has ever given me a true diagnosis, but finally they discovered that I have something known as EDS, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that also causes multi-organ dysfunction. I was also diagnosed with CIDP, chronic Inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, an autoimmune neurological disorder which causes impairments with motor functions and abnormal sensations. Both of these disorders are treated with steroids, so I was initially given large doses over the course of several months gaining more than 45 pounds. Once this treatment was finished it took a lot of effort to get my weight back down to a more reasonable point. I continue to receive treatment every 3 weeks of a medication known as IVIG, which has helped me tremendously but it has some side effects.



Through all of this I have been able to mostly remain optimistic and have tried to not let it hold me back continuing to live my life and be strong. Then in November of 2018 tragedy struck, I went into cardiac arrest as a side effect of pneumonia and died three times. I woke up 12 days later from a coma with a tube in my throat and a hairline fracture in one of my ribs from CPR. I remained in the hospital and went through rehabilitation over the course of two months, before I was able to go home. Due to going into cardiac arrest I had some brain damage, which affected my ability to walk. I spent the next 6 months relearning to walk without assistance and have been able to keep growing, allowing me to even enjoy dancing again. I have a goal of becoming stronger and healthier every day for myself and my family and I hope Peloton can help me achieve this goal.
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