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Hey 22q community! My name is Kristina; growing up I was constantly sick and no one could figure out why.  When I was 12 I had my first seizure, then I had my second seizure at 15 at a baton competition.  I spent a week in an Orlando hospital, then was transferred to Boca Raton Community Hospital for another week.  A doctor on staff suggested a fish study test and the results came back positive, diagnosing me with DiGeorge Syndrome.  I do not have the heart part, but I do have the immune part which contains many illnesses as well.  Since my second seizure I had about 3 more, all caused by something different.  As far as treatment, I am on many different medications to try to control all the different issues that are going on. 

I’m in college majoring in Communications to one day become a Motivational Speaker. My passion and way of life is baton twirling, I’m a competitive baton twirler and compete on a local, state, national and international level and have won a few titles.  I also coach and the team I help coach are also state and national champions. 

When this all started, whenever we'd leave a doctor's appointments it was as though something new would come up.  Even today its like new things keep coming up.  The support of my family and friends is unconditional and they keep me going strong even when I want to give up.  God plays such an important role in my life as well as my church family.  The amount of faith, strength and courage they give me to keep perservering even when things get tough have helped me overcome countless obstacles. 

I want all kids with this Syndrome to know that nothing is impossible; and please don’‘t let your doctors tell you that you can’t do this or you can’t do that.  They told me I wouldn’t be able to do half the things that I have already done and accomplished in my life.  You can do anything you set your mind to no matter how challenging it maybe or how long it may take to reach your goal.  We have overcome and gone through more than people know, and are some of the strongest people I have ever met.  No matter how challenging things get we keep on fighting!  I have had doctors give up on me because they’re afraid to take on this Syndrome but we NEVER give up, just take it one day at a time.  Some days will be easier than others but together we can achieve the impossible!

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