ICYMI: This Woman Rocks Gymnastics in the Face of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

It all started with extreme allergic reactions around her mouth when eating certain fruits, then overtime she grew to become allergic to just about everything, even her own tears and hair, reported Inquisitr.

Natasha was diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome, MCAS, and has to be extremely cautious as every day is a risk of death. The 22-year-old from Nottingham, England was forced to shave her head and avoid many things that would set her body off.

Natasha started showing symptoms back in 2012 when an oral reaction of blisters formed frequently around her mouth. When seeing a doctor, she was misdiagnosed with oral allergy syndrome. Yet, quickly after she had a bad anaphylactic reaction and was sent to the hospital. It took many years before the correct diagnosis of mast call activation syndrome came about. Mast call activation syndrome is a rare disease in which the mast cells don’t perform their duties correctly, releasing too much histamines with intention to protect when no protecting is essentially needed. This quick trigger of faulty immune system cells can lead to extreme reactions threatening her life.

Living with the disease comes with day to day limitations and every day she is at risk of discovering new allergies that will set her off. Natasha has learned to live simpler: she doesn’t drink alcohol, she sticks to the same drinks and foods she’s eaten before and her mother is adamant about keeping the house pristine and clean of allergens.

While she has limitations she must abide by, she doesn’t let her keep her from doing things she really loves; for Natasha that is gymnastics.

Unfortunately, she no longer can compete with the regular gymnasts but she now has switched to the disability gymnastics and has found so much success and happiness there. She still has to be aware of her body as her symptoms come spontaneously and can be crippling. But her persistence and ability to achieve in an incredibly demanding sport, in the face of such an extreme disease, is an inspiration to us all!


Natasha has continued to keep her head up and live her life to the fullest. Just in 2015 she was named the Disabled Sportsperson of The Year in the U.K.’s The Sun.

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