Far Away with Fabry
Munique had suffered from pain since she was 4 years old, but it wasn’t until she was 15 years old that she finally received a diagnosis that explained why: Fabry Disease. After seeing multiple doctors, she, her father, and multiple other family members were finally diagnosed with Fabry Disease at the same time.
In Brazil, treatment for Fabry was difficult as having a preexisting condition prevented her from getting health insurance. Although Brazil also has public universal healthcare, Fabry Disease was not recognized as a disease, meaning that a court battle was necessary to obtain coverage for treatment and specifically for the Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT) required to treat Fabry. Munique and other family members did successfully work with a lawyer to receive ERT. But the medication would then be periodically cut-off, requiring repeated returns to the courts for each interruption in treatment.
After 10 years of struggling to receive care and after losing her father to Fabry when he was only 46 years old, Munique moved to the U.S., where her husband has family connections and where she now receives consistent ERT as well as care from the multiple specialists needed to care for people with Fabry Disease. Munique shares the challenges of finding a diagnosis, how Enzyme Replacement Therapy has improved her life, and how the symptoms of Fabry Disease have made it that much harder to adjust to life in a new country and to make friends.
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