Meet Liz, a Shire Patient Ambassador
My name is Liz. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m the mother of four and I have hereditary angioedema. I had my first HAE attack when I was a kid. I was the lead in a school play, which I was very nervous about and when I woke up on the morning of the big performance, I had an incredible pain in my stomach and I couldn’t stop vomiting. But I did it. When I had a lull in lines, I would go backstage and vomit. My mom stood back there with a bucket. There was no understudy at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School for Frosty the Snowman, so...So my primary care doctor, and I grew up in a small town in east Tennessee, said I had irritable bowel syndrome and menstrual cramps. And when I was 18, he suggested I not go to college so I would avoid stress. Somebody telling me that I shouldn’t go to college because he couldn’t explain this illness - that was really unacceptable to me. And I think that was a turning point for me. I was more determined than ever to live my life. I was diagnosed 26 years after my first hereditary angioedema attack. When I found out I had hereditary angioedema my first response was “I’m not crazy.” It was so validating to know what I had was real and it had a name, and I wasn’t alone. If you’re searching for a diagnosis, talk with your doctor. Um, it’s not difficult to find out whether or not you have HAE. And if you do, there’s lots of resources out there to help you on this journey.