When Cheyenne Rose posted the story of her struggle with 18 years of constant injuries, she had no idea that she would receive a diagnosis that would change her life.
For years, Cheyenne dreamed of being a dancer, but her body couldn't sustain the rigorous hours of practice. She was 12 years old when she suffered her first major injury - a bike accident that broke her left arm in half.
One year later, she had grown to 5'10" and the rapid growth left her bones brittle. Since then, she has been in and out of the hospital with dislocated joints, broken bones and fractures.
Doctors had no answers for her and as her injuries got worse, she was confined to a wheelchair for an entire year at the age of 16. They told her that she might never dance again.
Heartbroken and frustrated, Cheyenne posted her story on Imgur.
"I thought maybe if there's anybody out there going through what I am, maybe they'll find some comfort in that I'm still dancing," she tells Tech Insider about her decision to post about her struggle on Imgur.
Over 190,000 people read her story and soon others with similar experiences started to comment. In addition to support she got what would be the beginning of a diagnosis and finally had a name for what was happening to her.
Cheyenne had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a genetic disease that affects the connective tissues in the body. Unfortunately, there is no cure - only treatments for the symptoms.
For Cheyenne's case, she had surgery to tighten her stretched-out ligaments, shoulder and hip surgery.
After all of her surgeries and recoveries, Cheyenne now faces a new challenge, one that has her terrified. About a month ago, she lost the ability to hold up her head. The ligaments in her neck have weakened and her muscles can't support her head.
Without that strength, her spine bends at a 90 degree angle and the vertebrae pinch the blood vessels in the back of her neck. Over time, this restricts the blood flow to her brain, causing her to black out.
On December 7, doctors will decide if she will need a risky surgery to fuse her skull to her spine.
"My life has been flipped upside down since May 11th, and while most of it scares the sh*t out of me, some of it is absolutely amazing."
Although her future is uncertain, Cheyenne counts her blessings : friends, family, and a supportive network of people all cheering her on.
Now, as she faces what might be the first in a series of spinal surgeries, she feels the love and sends it back.
"Life isn't always the best. And I'm okay with that. I know that whenever I feel down though, or like life is too hard to go on with, I'll always have my Imgur family here to make me feel better. I love you all. Thank you so much <3"
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