“I never knew what it was like to just feel well.” Shawn Boyle, Fredericton, NB
Shawn isn’t exaggerating when she says she was always sick growing up. Asthma, thrush, shingles, cold sores, colds, cellulitis, alopecia, fatigue... Something as simple as a bug bite could cause her to suffer a serious infection.
At the age of 18, she decided she’d had enough. She took a record of her illnesses to her family doctor, who referred her to a hematologist. The diagnosis? Hypogammaglobulinemia: a condition that depletes a person’s immunity levels—to half or even a third of what they should be. The treatment is a monthly regimen of intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) injections, which are derived primarily from human blood plasma.
Within a couple of treatments Shawn noticed a significant difference.
"I never knew what it was like to just feel well," she remarks. "My quality of life has improved so much. It still feels strange not catching every cold or infection that is going around."