Jennifer Brea, an activist and filmmaker, was 28 when her life took a drastic turn, which she describes in her talk on health for TED.
She was taking her PhD at Harvard, was an avid traveler and had just gotten engaged, however one day, she had a high fever and became progressively more ill over the following weeks. She constantly had more infections and sometimes was so dizzy she wasn't able to walk. Eventually, she starting having neurological symptoms. Every time she went to a doctor or specialist, she was told there was nothing wrong with her.
Eventually, she found out she had what was called myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome, which can make daily activities nearly impossible at times. Throughout her talk on health, Jennifer Brea considers the difficulties she's faced in dealing with a debilitating disease that continues to be largely unknown and unstudied.
To combat this, she's documented the lives of others who are living with myalgic encephalomyelitis and other autoimmune diseases in an effort to bring more funding to their research so that those dealing with such illnesses are taken more seriously and can receive proper treatment.
Living with an Undiagnosed Disease
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Practicing Emotional Fitness
Dispelling the PMS Myth
Preparing for the Next Epidemic