“Totally amazing!” says 17-year-old Lexi Narotzky.
She’s not talking about her recent prom or even her summer plans to study in California. She’s talking about last week’s visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Lexi, who was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at three years old, found her way to the NIH after she shared her story with Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R – NJ) at the Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit back in March. Struck by her narrative, Frelinghuysen invited Lexi and her entire group to visit the NIH and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) so that they could see firsthand the research that is being done to combat arthritis.
Continue reading One Story Can Change Everything: Visit Gives an Inside Look of the NIH
Some rising high school seniors will scout colleges for their social scene. Many might choose a college based on its proximity — or lack thereof — to home. Others will simply go where their friends are going. Lexi Narotzky has a different set of criteria.
“I’m looking to go to Vanderbilt in Nashville if I can get in,” says Lexi. “It’s a smaller school where I won’t have to walk as far. The campus is very flat and very accessible for days I am not feeling well. And, the weather is better than it is here in New Jersey.”
Lexi has been making choices like this since she was a toddler. Lexi clearly remembers when she was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, even though she was just three years old.
“I remember the exact night it all started,” Lexi says. “I had just gotten home from dance class, and I was wearing my tights. All of the sudden, I couldn’t move. “
In the weeks that followed, Lexi spent many days in the hospital and visited multiple specialists. High fevers and swollen joints stumped doctors, even at some of the country’s most renowned medical institutions.
Continue reading Lexi : Simply Telling Her Story Leads to an Important Invitation