October 13, 2016
Hadley A. Graham was a junior at George Mason University when she receive the unexpected news that she has a rare disease. Nearing the end of her spring semester, Hadley sought medical care for the extreme fatigue, joint pain, and easy bruising she'd been experiencing. Soon, Hadley received a diagnosis. She had severe aplastic anemia. Hadley learned about a NIH clinical trial for her rare disease. She shares ""I was really mad I couldn't go back to school. I had a plan, and being sick was not part of the plan, but there is one good thing to come out of this – we are lucky to have NIH!" Throughout the trial and her experience, Graham said she has learned some important truths.
"To me, I'm still just a normal kid trying to live a normal life. This disease doesn't define who I am. Don't let a disease define who you are," she said. Being sick has also reminded her of the importance of having family and friends by your side. And, finally, "if you have a health issue, go to the doctor to get it checked because your health is so important."