College can be one of the most fun periods in a person’s life, yet it can also be one of the most stressful. For someone like me who has Loeys-Dietz syndrome, health concerns can add another layer of stress to the college years. When I had to make my decision on where I wanted to go to college, I not only took into account school size, but I also took into account the closest hospital and where they send students in case of an emergency. I ended up deciding on a small college in Boston that was everything I was looking for and, as an added bonus, is just down the street from where most of my doctors are. Being near my doctors was good for me because the summer before I started my freshman year, I had to have my aortic root replaced. I went to my freshman orientation in the summer and the next day I went to the hospital for my surgery.
The end of this year will mark 10 years since my world changed, 10 years since my parents scoured the internet trying to find anything about this new syndrome, 10 years since I was diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz syndrome. My parents found some of the information they were looking for on The Marfan Foundation’s website. Then, the following summer, they took my brother and me to a conference the Foundation was having in Philadelphia.