Grey’s Anatomy Addresses Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

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I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). It affects every moment of every day of my life. It is painful and it is sometimes terrifying, and that’s the hard truth. During middle school and high school, I was bullied by a few groups of girls who accused me of being a drug addict and an alcoholic. My band director’s wife spread rumors about me having STDs. In fact, I had EDS and over a dozen other diseases and disorders that come with it. I was not properly diagnosed until I was in my early 20’s and arrived at Mayo Clinic very close to being on my death bed. While EDS is not a rare disease, it is not widely talked about and many doctors lack the education to properly treat it. EDS patients need more awareness, education, and research. I am so excited for the EDS community to see a platform like Grey’s Anatomy not only talking about the disease, but addressing the ways in which it is dangerously misunderstood and how humiliating it can be for the patients, who are sometimes forced to literally fight and beg to save their own lives.

On the recent Episode 4 of Season 13, “Falling Slowly,” Alex’s character is faced with treating a female college student for what he believes is alcoholism based on the symptoms he sees, but in fact is EDS. I won’t give you anymore than that, because I wouldn’t want to spoil the power of the storyline for you before you see it for yourself! Please go check it out, share with your friends and loved ones, use this opportunity to spread greater awareness – oh, and when your done changing the world – come back and comment here if you’d like with your thoughts on how the creators of Grey’s Anatomy chose to portray the struggle of living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

With great love,

Jessica Kendall James

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