The Conley Cushing's Disease Fund was established on July 17, 2014 and is fiscally sponsored by The Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Funds raised will be used in part to create awareness and advocacy for Cushing's Disease.
After more than two years of symptoms that didn’t seem connected (including four bouts of bronchitis, pneumonia, strep, shingles, a fractured hip, a “hump” on my back between my shoulder blades, a mysterious umbilical hernia and foot problem as well unexplained weight gain of over 70 pounds in less than 15 months), I finally had an answer to what was causing my body to go into a downward spiral. I had seen 10 different specialists and had hundreds of tests. Now even though the diagnosis was devastating, at least we had a name for it.Learn More About Marie's Story
What I learned early on from patients' experiences with Cushing’s disease is that it often follows an unpredictable path and leaves a person in an immediate reaction response, unaware of the next curveball it might throw their way. Since Cushing’s syndrome is a rare disease, you are left with many unanswered questions and finding the correct treatment becomes a stressful job.
Most of my Cushing’s journey has circled around important milestones in my life. I guess that’s what happens when you start to get sick during your transition into college. This was the time I was supposed to be learning, growing, becoming independent and finding myself. In a way, I suppose all of these things were still a part of my college experience, however, I also had to balance regular doctor’s visits and 24-hour urine samplings all while starting a new life in a new city on a college campus that was 6 hours away from home.
My Cushing’s story started long before I realized it was being written. It is hard to say exactly when I exhibited my first symptom, but looking back at pictures, I began displaying a rounded “Cushing’s face” during my undergraduate studies in the late 1990s. I began dealing with minor anxiety at that time, but that didn’t seem too abnormal given my busy and intense schedule.