Ryan Baldwin, an 11-year-old soccer player and high-achieving student, started having headaches one summer. That fall, he was unable to concentrate enough to do his homework. Extreme fatigue caused him to be largely housebound, unable to go to school except one hour a day. He felt as though he had a run-down battery.
Any mental activity left Ryan in a “crash” for days. Brushing his teeth in the morning became so exhausting that he would feel as though he had run a marathon. Nausea, stomach aches and dizziness came and went, with little provocation. As the years passed, many of his friends went to school dances, but Ryan was in his bed, reserving all of his energy for homeschooling.
His mother took him to prominent hospitals, searching for answers. Ryan was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or encephalopathy.
addition to the physical challenges, the family had to battle against
government ignorance that led to his being removed from his home under
false charges made against his parents. Due in part to a collaborative advocacy effort of our organization with others, Ryan was reunited his parents in February 2010. He still lives with limitations from ME/CFS.
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