Tricia's story

Tricia Bertoldo

“I needed to get back to ‘me’ and knew Kessler could help me do that. They were the silver lining in my very gray cloud.”

 

Finding the silver lining

Teaching assistant Tricia Bertoldo had been training for a half-marathon. When she didn’t feel well, she left school early and went home to rest. Instead, she passed out and her husband rushed her to Hunterdon Medical Center. Initial tests proved inconclusive. Three days later, Tricia was unable to walk.

“I was walking and running more than 14 miles a day, and suddenly I couldn’t take a step,” recalls Tricia. “I was frightened... frustrated. It just didn’t make sense.”

Further testing indicated she might have a rare form of Lyme disease complicated by undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), an autoimmune disease. Antibiotic treatment was prescribed, but Tricia was still unable to walk.

“I needed to get back to ‘me’ and knew Kessler could help me do that. They were the silver lining in my very gray cloud. When I was down, they picked me up. When I felt I couldn’t do any more, they proved to me that I could. Without their encouragement and the amazing support of my family and friends, I wouldn’t be back to where I am.”

Despite improvement, Tricia sensed that something was still wrong.

Additional neurologic testing revealed Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIPD), a disease similar to Guillain-Barré syndrome that is marked by progressive weakness and impaired limb function.

“This disease is not going to beat me. I’m going to fight it every step of the way. I just keep smiling, dreaming and believing... because this is one race I am going to win!”

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