City, State: Redmond, OR
Club: Central Christian School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 11/06/2013
Cassandra, Cassy for short, was your normal active teenager. She loved playing sports, drama, acting, hiking and just being outside in nature. She was always busy doing something. But, just shy of her 15th birthday, things began to change. She was away at a retreat when she began to get sick. She got dehydrated and was very sick to her stomach. A few days later, her parents began to think that maybe she had Mono. They took Cassy to the doctor and it was determined that it was not Mono.
Cassy began getting very tired, wanting to sleep 18-20 hours at a time. She started to get headaches a lot and feel dizzy all the time. Test showed that she had low blood sugar so doctors began to treat her for hypoglycemia. She was then diagnosed with Addison’s disease, a disorder of the adrenal glands. The treatment for Addison’s disease made Cassy even sicker. She then visited a neurologist to try to get help for her migraine headaches. They were advised to get a second opinion and opted to go to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. The endocrinologist there determined that Addison’s disease was not Cassy’s problem.
It took 4 months to completely wean Cassy off the medications for Addison’s so they could start over. Another doctor diagnosed POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). POTS disease causes your heart rate to rise excessively when sitting up or standing. They received 2 other opinions just to make sure.
Doctors say that 80% of the kids who develop POTS will outgrow it by the age of 20-22. Cassy is hoping she is one of those 80%. In the meantime Cassy can no longer go to school. She cannot be sitting upright for that long without her heart rate rising excessively or without getting a migraine. Cassy is doing physical therapy in the pool to keep her muscles strong. She is still tired all the time and sleeps for long periods at a time. She wears a heart monitor so she knows when her heart rate is going to high and she needs to rest.
Sparrow Cash raised for Cassy will help pay for ongoing medical expenses and therapy costs.