Celebrate life in 3D with Kristen, nearly eight years post-transplant (Ep. 86)

Warrior: Kristen
AI: Multiple Sclerosis
HSCT: January 2015
Superpower: confidence

To what extent does stress impact you? How full do you feel life is? How well are you able to put fear aside?

As an avid runner, Kristen managed several years of mystery symptoms before receiving the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2009. Despite her aggressive approach with attempting to slow the progression, including solumedrol, rituximab, copaxone, and several other disease modifying therapies, it seemed the drugs had no effect. Kristen found herself slowing each year from running marathons to speed-walking to limping with a cane to a scooter and eventually a wheelchair, unable to hold a fork by 2013. Once she was connected with someone who had received HSCT in Germany, she was convinced. She applied in Italy and Russia and was accepted while she pursued the clinical trial at Northwestern, yet was rejected. 

Tune in to hear more about how a gracious pilot on a canceled flight helped her arrive at a second appointment with Dr. Burt to be treated on a compassionate care basis, her experience with divine interventions, trust in Dr. Burt through transplant, and how she is faring seven-and-a-half years later with her new lease on life.

Be sure to visit our website, HSCTWarriorsPodcast.org where you can find notes from today’s episode, submit ideas or feedback, or connect with HSCT Warriors, Inc. and schedule time to “Talk with a Warrior”, find the latest research and resources, or explore the world map. Special thanks to musical genius Billy Alletzhauser for sharing his superpowers to produce the soundtrack, and engineer the audio to make this podcast possible. You can find us both when you subscribe on SoundCloud, iTunes or wherever you find podcasts.

It has been great to connect with Warriors worldwide, so please reach out if you’re interested in sharing your story. We would love to learn how the podcast has helped your journey with autoimmune disease so if you could take a moment, leave us a comment on instagram or share feedback on our website. We hope you’ll tune in next Wednesday for another episode, highlighting another HSCT Warrior. Until then, be a snowflake and embrace your superpowers.  Be kind.  Be well.


Jen Stansbury Koenig and the producers disclaim medical influence and responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information contained herein. If you think you have a medical problem, please contact a licensed physician.

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