Kimberly Elayyne

Patient Leader

At 20, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondilitis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in joints & organs and is disabling. For me, it affected my eyes and walking. In 2012, I was driving along in my car when all of a sudden my vision went black. I get rushed to the hospital and was given a spinal tap to see if I had a brain bleed. The doctor who performed my spinal tap, poked my back for 15 minutes straight before giving up. Leaving me with my original spinal leak. My life in 2016 changed forever. I was never going to be the same. Little did I know that this was going to make me stronger than I ever thought possible. In 2016, I was in class at college when I stood up and was unable to walk properly. Turns out, my condition decided to flare up. There were days where I couldn't walk a few steps without stopping. In October 2016, I was driving home from college, when I stopped to pull in my driveway and was struck in the back of my car that was going 50 mph. I didn't know it at the time, but this was when I first developed a spinal leak. I started getting brain fog, dizziness, vertigo, horrific headaches. I decided to see a chiropractor and when I was being adjusted in March 2017, he adjusted me wrong and I developed my 2nd spinal leak. Time went on and I was misdiagnosed more than I can count. In Jan 2018, I had to be given rabies vaccines and developed a mild form of guillian barre syndrome, leaving me to get a spinal tap to confirm it. The doctor who performed this, was not able to do the procedure properly and left me with 3rd spinal leak. I was misdiagnosed until June 2018 and I finally realized i had spinal leaks ever since 2012. I knew that I couldn't be the only one experiencing this so I decided to make a change the best I could. I began being an advocate in 2016 when life hit me hard. The only thing I knew how to do that saved me from the pain, was to encourage others. I want to leave this world and people better than I found it. #YOUMATTER

Location

Fargo, ND

Nominations

Best in Show: Community

Finalist

Hilarious Patient Leader

Kimberly has such a bright energy & spirit while battling a chronic illness. She’s constantly making others smile and laugh even while advocating for chronic pain. She’s amazing and deserves this nomination!  — Denelle

Kimberly Elayyne

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