Ten years ago, we lost a dear member of our community, Julie Kurnitz. Julie served on our Board of Directors, appeared in our videos, was a founder of the Marfan Artists Project (which is now our Heartworks gala), led conference workshops, spoke to doctors and nurses about Marfan syndrome, and, was featured in print and broadcast media to raise awareness of Marfan syndrome. More than that, she was an inspiration to so many in our community as she gave so much of herself, with a smile on her face, even as she faced multiple medical challenges of Marfan syndrome.
Many people with Marfan syndrome have difficulty gaining weight, especially when they are younger, no matter how much they eat and how many protein shakes they consume. Some do find that they do put on weight, particularly around their middle, when they get older. (And while Marfan syndrome is frequently associated with being very thing, it is possible to be heavy and have Marfan syndrome.)
Topics: How the Body is Affected
Do you still get blank stares from people when you say that you have Marfan syndrome? How many times have you been asked, “How do you spell that? M-A-R.......how frustrating!
Marfan is still is not a household word, but February is Marfan Awareness Month and there are many things you can do to help change that! Here are five:
- Ask your local library if you can set up a Marfan awareness table for a day or two and share information about Marfan syndrome with members of your community. Contact your local high school about giving a presentation to biology or genetics classes about Marfan syndrome.
- Send Valentine Day cards (or emails) to your friends and relatives and include information about Marfan syndrome and related disorders. Share some basic facts about related disorders, too, because these have overlapping signs and treatments with Marfan syndrome and can also cut lives short.
- Write a “letter to the editor” of your local paper about what Marfan syndrome is and why it matters to you, and ask them to publish the letter or do an article. Suggest they interview you about your medical journey and point them to Marfan.org for medical information.
- Share facts about Marfan syndrome and related disorders on Facebook, Twitter, and all the social media platforms you are on throughout the month of February. Check out our Facebook page and Twitter feed every day of the month for information, pictures, and videos you can share.
- Get all “doctor” on your doctor; ask him or her to check out the healthcare professionals section of our website, especially our MarfanDX diagnostic tool, which many doctors find useful for evaluating the signs of Marfan syndrome.
It’s the beginning of the new year. Is it the beginning of your Marfan journey? If you just heard the words “Marfan syndrome” for the first time, you may feel like your world has been turned upside down. Now what? Here are six things you need to do after getting diagnosed so you can get on with your life.
Learn about your condition.
When is the most common time of the year for families to get together under one roof? That's right, during the holidays. They are upon us, and soon you will have a few generations of family members sitting at the dinner table together catching up, telling stories, and enjoying each other’s company.
Marfan syndrome and related disorders are in most cases genetic. Meaning they can be passed down from generation to generation. Why should this matter to you? The health history of your family is your greatest asset to help you and your doctors determine potential health risks for you or a family member. You may be able to prevent some conditions by making changes in your lifestyle and making healthier life choices. So why not open that discussion up to your grandparents, aunts and uncles, nephews, and siblings? Here are four questions you can ask relatives about your family health history.