Home / People / Young Auburn grad suffering from rare Stiff Person Syndrome trying to raise $450K for life-changing procedure

Young Auburn grad suffering from rare Stiff Person Syndrome trying to raise $450K for life-changing procedure

25-year-old Auburn grad
25-year-old Auburn grad Sallie Rhodes is trying to get her life back one step—and one donation—at a time.

Sallie Rhodes is a lot of young Auburn women you know. She has bright eyes and a sweet smile. If you scrolled through Sallie Rhodes’ Facebook photos, you would see a person full of life and adventure. She was an ADPi. She was a pediatric ICU nurse. She was happy. She was helping others.

And then, at 25, things started to change for the Auburn grad from Montgomery. First there was pain. Then there were falls. Her body, suddenly, couldn’t do what she wanted it to do.

Doctors told her it was something called Stiff Person Syndrome. It’s a one-in-a-million diagnosis, the kind of thing that has a simple name that hides a sinister betrayal. The neurological disorder locks up your limbs and shuts down your torso. The pain comes with muscle spasms, ruined posture and sensitivity to pretty much everything. Even going outside becomes a problem as things as simple as a loud noise can trigger more body-wracking spasms and more dangerous falls.

Another person dealing with SPS recently told CNN “You can put a sticker on my head and put me up for sale. I’m a statue for your lawn.”

And that’s what happens with this disability. It takes over your body. It confines you in a wheelchair. And then it ruins your life. Researchers say 65 percent of SPS patients can’t function independently. That’s what Sallie Rhodes is dealing with.

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Doctors tell her there is a treatment in Seattle. Her insurance says it won’t cover the procedure, so Sallie turned to the Internet. She’s started an online campaign to raise the $450,000 for the life-changing procedure that her insurance company doesn’t cover. Sallie Rhodes, an Auburn woman, needs our help.

You can contribute here.

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