Mermaids and adrenal disease……what do these two things have in common?
We all know mermaids are the mythological creatures found in fairy tales and storybooks we read as children. Many of us spent countless hours in pools and the ocean, pretending to be these fantastic, beautiful creatures…..only to grow up to find the harsh reality that mermaids don’t exist….but diseases like adrenal insufficiency do.
Winslow E. Dixon was that little girl who loved mermaids. She loved the water and idolized all things ocean. As a child, she blissfully played in the ocean waves, pretending she was a creature of the sea.
But that little girl grew up to realize that her fairytale of living in the sea wouldn’t come true. Life dealt her a stiff hand of medullary sponge kidney disease and endometriosis, which resulted in chronic pain from a young age. This chronic pain was so severe it taxed her life and resulted in total adrenal failure- Addison’s disease. At 23 years old, this little girl grew up to find the nightmare of an adrenal crisis, never to be the same again.
Her health failed and her dreams crashed along with it.
But that little girl, all grown up now, was determined to get her life back.
She searched far and wide for options to treat her disease and discovered the promising hope of the cortisol pump.
She quickly discovered this treatment option was hard to come by.
Nevertheless, she persisted.
She visited multiple endocrinologists nationwide and was rejected by multiple doctors. No one seemed to want to take a chance on this treatment.
After two years of fighting, she decided to do it herself. She enlisted the help of a pharmacist and consulted Professor Hindmarsh and decided to take control of her health. She began the cortisol pump in March of 2018.
So where does the mermaid come in?
Winslow went from being completely bedridden and unable to function to being able to enjoy life again. She was able to fulfill a life long dream of swimming like a mermaid, thanks to the strength she found from using the cortisol pump.
Though the pump has not been a cure, it has helped her find better days and more quality of life.
After seeing how little resources there were on cortisol pumping, Winslow then decided to start the Adrenal Alternatives Foundation to help adrenal patients find every resource to manage this devastating disease.
When you’re adrenals fail, you are forced to find alternatives…..which are typically oral steroid pills. The treatment protocols for adrenal insufficiency have not changed since 1920. This is unacceptable. Research and treatment protocols are outdated.
For those with severe forms of this disease, oral steroid therapy is not enough to live a normal life.
This foundation was created to be the voice for those struggling with unmanaged adrenal disease.
Life may not be a fairytale, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
Winslow’s story shows us that even though things may look bleak, there is always hope.
Adrenal Alternatives Foundation is here to educate the world on the TRUTH of adrenal disease and to empower patients to find the best quality of life possible.
Change is coming for adrenal disease <3