Myasthenia Gravis Association of Western PA

We Walk For Jack

Welcome to our team  page.  Please consider making a donation on our behalf to support our fundraising campaign.

When our father and husband (Jack) was initially diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in 2010, we were confused. we knew nothing of this disease, or what it would mean for our family. Fortunately for us  Jack lived near The MG Treatment Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

MG is a chronic neuromuscular disorder which means "grave muscle weakness." The disorder is characterized by abnormal weakness of the voluntary muscles (those controlled by will), such as chewing, swallowing, smiling, drooping eyelids, double vision, weakness in the arms and legs and in some cases difficulty breathing. Weakness increases with repeated activity and decreases with periods of rest. It can affect persons of any age or race including newborns. However, the disorder is more prevalent in young adult females and older males. There are several medications and treatments to control symptoms which require ongoing physician care.

The immune system normally defends the body against diseases, but sometimes it can turn against the body, leading to an autoimmune disease. MG is an autoimmune disease that affects about 20 per 100,000 people worldwide. The prevalence has been increasing in recent decades, which likely results from earlier diagnosis and better treatments leading to longer lifespans for affected individuals. We found a lack of knowledge about this disease among some of the healthcare providers who treated Jack. We found ourselves educating them about MG and the special care needs that it required.

At this time there is no known cause or cure for myasthenia gravis, but the MG Association of Western Pennsylvania was always there to advocate, inform, and help us as we transitioned into the world of chronic illness. We relied on MGA to navigate this disorder.

Jack lost his battle with MG on January 30, 2014. Please consider supporting this hard working organization to help them as they support and empower MG patients so that they can manage their MG as effectively as possible and enjoy the highest quality of life.

Thank you for supporting  our team in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community.
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