Did You Know?! Primary Immunodeficiency Does NOT Have to Suck

Since a young age, many of us have searched for something—a hobby, a passion, a quirk—that “defines” us.

Much like the pursuits of Angela Van Batavia, a middle school teacher, marathon runner, and mother of three who lives with primary immunodeficiency (PI).

The questionnaire that outlines Angela’s interests, goals, accomplishments, and insider info doesn’t mention her diagnosis with primary immunodeficiency until the very end of her interview.

Under “Her Most Recent Triumph,” Angela explains her journey:

“After three years of searching for answers as to why I was always sick, I was finally diagnosed in 2012 with primary immunodeficiency.”

Buried under about 30 other interview questions, Angela shares that she suffers, but her inspiring message is clear—although she lives with PI, she in no way allows it to define her. Angela is so much more than a diagnosis.

She finds a fuller, more complete versions of herself.

She discovers sides of herself and explores her opportunities.

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Angela picks up what this cute kitty is putting down. Source: www.giphy.com

The Pathway to Self

Certainly, for some, the depth and aptitude at which we pursue “our something” play a large role in getting us where we are today.

Yet, these pursuits are not solely for the purpose of academic and professional advancement.

Aren’t we more than a resume?

I think so. Well, I have high hopes that we are.

I have noticed that my friends with passions—even my two quirky friends who are jointly passionate about hiking and nature photography—tend to be happier than my friends with diffuse and milder interests.

We want to define ourselves with something lasting, be it a published book or a successful business or simply goodwill towards others.

In short, we want to matter.

And I know that there are more than 200 different forms of primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDDs)—a set of rare genetic diseases that may be chronic and debilitating, but I have high hopes, high apple pie in the sky hopes that PI doesn’t complete your definition of self.

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And more than a disease. Source: www.giphy.com

There’s so much more to you.

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