Autoimmune Stories

While the most recent statistics tell us that autoimmune disease affects at least 14.7 to 23.5 million Americans, research indicates that the numbers have been growing steadily for years. The unifying link between these 80-100 diseases and counting, is the immune system’s inability to differentiate between self and non-self, resulting in systemic or organ-specific attack. 

No one case of autoimmunity is alike, as symptoms overlap and vary widely even within a particular disease, such as celiac, lupus, or ulcerative colitis. On top of this, there are many individuals with autoimmune-like symptoms who are unable to secure a diagnosis. 

Each story serves as a window into the complexities of living with chronic illness

People may feel unseen and unheard both in their social lives and in the medical world. It is our hope for these stories to cushion the loneliness often felt by people with autoimmune disease, and to give caregivers and loved ones valuable insight into what they may be going through.

Want to share your own story? Scroll down for writing prompts and more info on how to be featured.

Anna's Story: Holding On To Hope with an Undiagnosed Illness

Anna April 8, 2022

Anna opens up about her life with a painful, undiagnosed digestive disease. Her experiences range from feeling the ag…

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Monwabisi's Story: Growing up with Vitiligo, Growing into Self-Acceptance

Monwabisi Mabude April 1, 2022

When Monwabisi began to develop signs of vitiligo, he realized that he needed to go beyond his small town for help

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Rahel's Story: MCTD, Raynaud’s, & Living with Gratitude

Rahel Wildberger January 10, 2022

Rahel manages her chronic illnesses while living with gratitude and encouraging others to do the same

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Young woman smiling under wooden archwa

Claire's Story: Gender Bias & the Long Road to Diagnosis

Claire Lapat December 9, 2021

Many doctors brushed off Claire’s serious health concerns, which delayed both her diagnosis and treatment

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Woman leaning against stone wall in nature

Presha's Story:
Being Okay with
Not Being Okay

Presha Kardile October 18, 2021

Presha, who lives with MCTD, explores the concept of acceptance, as it changed the way she sees her body and her life…

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illustration of woman meditating, green background


Roxanne Lerner September 16, 2021

Roxanne’s journey with meditation helped her move forward after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease

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Man in plaid shirt and woman with flower crown and white dress in a field

Savannah's Story: Finding My Inner Superwoman While Battling a Rare Disease

Savannah Wall September 1, 2021

Life with chronic illness may not be considered a “normal” one, but you can still find joy and satisfaction…

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Young woman with brown hair in green shirt leaning on chair

Morgan's Story: Getting Help with Crohn's Disease

Morgan Schoepfer August 5, 2021

Morgan describes her experience of avoiding help and offers insights she learned along the way

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Young woman with autoimmune disease standing next to elephant


Aubrey Kwong July 19, 2020

Her sudden, autoimmune-like symptoms were never diagnosed. Discover how she found a path to better health

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Woman grocery shopping for healthy foods illustration

When Food Sensitivities Catch You Off Guard

Margaux Thieme-Burdette January 26, 2020

Step into Margaux’s life as she deals with an unexpected reaction, and shares tools that keep her moving forward.

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Mother with her baby

Chronic Illness, Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Healing

Beth Chen May 1, 2019

Listen to Beth’s journey about her illness on the Emotional Immunity podcast

listen here

Share Your Autoimmune Story

It’s a powerful way to tap into the community and inspire others, while also reflecting on your own experiences.

We invite you to write and share your unique journey with autoimmune disease or chronic illness and what you’ve discovered along the way.

Below is a set of prompts to help you write a brief but colorful snapshot of your journey. Head over to our guide on How to Tell Your Chronic Illness Story for more prompts, inspiration, and writing tips!



• Say something unique about yourself. It could be anything – hobbies, favorite places or foods, fun memories, your quirks/dreams/fears, etc.

When did you realize something was wrong? How did it make you feel?

• Describe your diagnosis and/or symptoms

• Explain how your health condition changed the way you live – what are the biggest challenges you experience?

• What has living with a chronic illness taught you?

• Give one piece of advice to someone who has recently been diagnosed or who’s experiencing chronic health issues

• Name one thing you’d like people to know about living with chronic illness

If you’d like to be featured, submit your story (or any questions you have) to with the subject line “Autoimmune Stories”

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Please note: by submitting a story you acknowledge that you are 18 years of age and that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions, including User Submission Release Agreement, which are found in the Privacy Policy. Submitting your story grants the Global Autoimmune Institute, its affiliates, and licensees permission to edit your story and to publish it online and on social media. Your personal information will not be shared or sold to third parties.

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