By Abbie Cornett
Happy Anniversary, IG Living!
I still remember getting my first copy of IG Living in the mail. I was standing in my kitchen going through the day’s mail. In the stack of bills and junk mail was a magazine I didn’t recognize: IG Living! I had no idea what it was; I assumed it was some type of advertisement or marriage mail, but then the cover caught my attention. IG Living. I knew what “IG” was!
A few months earlier, I would have had no clue what IG stood for, but now I did. After years of being ill and multiple hospitalizations, I had been diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency. I had been receiving intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) therapy once a month for about a year.
While my illness had finally been given a name and a treatment, I was a long way from understanding my disease and the impact it would have on my life. Just because I had been diagnosed didn’t mean I had answers to the questions I had been asking for years. In fact, a year later, I had more questions than before my disease had a name!
My curiosity got the better of me. I opened the magazine not really expecting much. Let’s face it: I was pretty jaded by this point. Like most patients, I had been let down for years by doctors who couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, or who had misdiagnosed me. I had stacks of medical bills I had no idea how I was going to pay. I was tired of the blank looks I received when I tried to explain my disease to friends, family and, frequently, members of the medical community. I had accepted I was alone with my disease!
As soon as I opened the magazine I saw “Yoo-Hoo! Is Anybody Out There?” This one question summed up what I had been feeling. It called to all of the other overlooked and forgotten patients. I sat down and read the magazine cover to cover. I couldn’t believe it! I had found a group that understood what it was to be a patient with a disease no one has heard of. They were there to answer the questions I had, and to let me know I wasn’t alone.
That first magazine was published 10 years ago this month. It’s hard to believe that much time has passed. So much has changed for me and the magazine during that period.
During these 10 years, I have had the privilege of watching IG Living grow to be one of the best resources available for the rare disease patient population that need IG to survive.
For me, it’s been a long journey. I have been able to grow from being a disillusioned, angry patient who had more questions than answers, to being the patient advocate for IG Living, a job in which I get to help people find the help they need and let them know they have support.
It is as a patient, though, that I want to say happy anniversary IG Living! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me and thousands of other patients find answers to our questions and for supporting us when we needed it. You have made us feel a little less alone. I look forward to watching you grow in the next 10 years!
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