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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