Alisa May serves as a caregiver to her son Justin, who suffers from adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a rare genetic condition that prevents the body from breaking down very long-chain fatty acids in the brain. When these acids accumulate, they destroy the protective sheath of nerve cells responsible for brain function.
Alisa’s father passed away due to complications from ALD at age 56. When Justin was born with the same condition, she prayed for a miracle and became an advocate for scientific innovation so her son would not succumb to the same fate as her father.
After more than 19 years managing his condition at home, it has been a challenge for Justin to manage his adrenal insufficiency on his own during his first year of college. Without working adrenal glands, Justin’s body cannot fight off the disease. As long as Justin is not under any stress, his symptoms are manageable. When stress ensues, it is vital Justin has access to steroid medications to ensure his adrenal glands work properly.