Meet our 2015 featured patient, Alyssa
My name is Alyssa and today I appear to be your average sixteen year old. What most people don’t know is that I have a civil war within myself. My immune system is hyperactive creating antibodies to attack my blood cells, platelets, white blood cells, and tissues. I have great difficulty managing the pain and inflammation.
When I was very young, my parents took me to Seattle Children’s Hospital. It has been a roller coaster ride of hospitalizations and heavy medications. It has been painful and distressing to not understand why I had to take this journey. I would feel as if the world was living their life, while mine was placed on hold. My appearance would change when I was on high doses of prednisone and it was a painful and hurtful. Through it all, the doctors and nurses supported me and offered comfort. I am proud to have had the opportunity to offer my dna for research programs. I hope that one day we’ll know what my illness is and find a medication to regulate my autoimmune response. The doctors and nurses have become my extended family and my mentors. It has been an unexpected miracle that I can receive the best treatment right here, just 20 min from home. If I lived anywhere else, my parents would have moved us. Seattle Children’s Hospital is my lifesaver and part of my future.
For the first time, my blood counts are stable. I am taking AP courses at my high school, and for the very first time I can be on the tennis team. Laughing and celebrating with my friends is a thrill and a monumental victory.
Support for Seattle Children’s brings lifesaving new ideas, treatments and cures for kids like me.
By Alyssa Bowen, age 16