Hello! I’m assuming that by you visiting my website you are wanting to know more about me and what I do.
First, let me say that my name is Morgan Gleason, I am 19 years old, I love horses, I live in Florida and I am in my second year of college at Auburn University. I have a lot of experience in the healthcare world. My story begins when I was 11 years old; I was diagnosed with a systemic autoimmune disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). The main symptoms of JDM are weak or painful muscles, skin rash, fatigue and fever. This disease is very rare and only affects 1 to 3 in a million people per year. To learn more about this disease or to donate to the charity you can visit the website CureJM.org. Cure JM provides plenty of information andopportunities to get involved.
Before I was diagnosed in June of 2010, I was a fairly normal kid. I was a cheerleader and had never had any major health issues aside from broken bones caused by my clumsiness. As I said before, I was a cheerleader, which meant that I was very active and physically fit. I was a very good tumbler and was able to flip and run around. However, towards the end of my cheerleading “career”, I started getting very weak and wasn’t able to do all of my flips and stunts that I used to. My mom believed that I was just having a mental block that came from my broken elbow a few months before. This is what any parent would think right? Why would you ever have a reason to believe that your normal 11 year old could have a very serious disease? Now that we look back on the times, everything adds up and makes sense with the diagnosis. All within a short timeframe, I had begun to develop a rash on my elbows and knees, and I was getting very weak. At the time, we had just thought that the red patches on my joints were rug burn. I was also complaining of frequent headaches, stomachaches, and things of that nature. So in May of 2010, my mom took me to a dermatologist to look at the strange rash on my knees and elbows. The doctor believed that I had eczema and needed a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and for the insurance to approve of treatment. They took the biopsy, and that was my first real experience with needles or doctors. We were all shocked when it the results came back as Dermatomyositis. So on June 18th 2010, my world flipped upside down for the better or worse. Within the next few months, we went through the process of finding multiple doctors for each of my specific needs. I was no longer able to tumble or cheer. I am very thankful that the disease never progressed to the point of me becoming wheelchair bound as many other JDM kids were.
I have always loved horses, and my dream like many other girls, was to have a horse of my own. I began to take horseback riding lessons as my replacement hobby. I quickly caught on and haven’t looked back since. I had a wish granted from Make a Wish, and my only wish was for a horse of my own. So in the fall of 2011 I got my very own horse called Emerson. Owning him gave me great responsibility as well as a safe haven to escape after a stressful day at school. In the winter of 2012, we traded Emerson and got my current pony Riley. I love riding horses, and I hopeI will always have an opportunity to do so.
I love to speak at events, so contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a speaker for an event or for your hospital.
Thank you for visiting, have a wonderful day. 🙂