Mid-Michigan Woman With Terminal Disease Seeks to Inspire Others [VIDEO]
Chelsea Paradise estimates that she only has about a dozen good years left, but plans to make the most of every minute. At just 26 years old, the Mason resident says she is facing her Huntington's Disease diagnosis head-on, and trying to educate law enforcement about symptoms of the disease they may not recognize.
What is Huntington's Disease?
Paradise describes Huntington's Disease to Lansing's WLNS-TV as every bad disease you can think of all rolled up into one.
"ALS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s all in one… like bipolar schizophrenia,” Chelsea said as she outlined some of the symptoms. “Shaking and then your memory starts to slip and then you obviously start to fall, and you start having swallowing issues.”
A test confirmed that Chelsea has the hereditary disease about three years ago. She's already begun to experience some mild symptoms and estimates that she'll probably have to go into a residential facility in her early 40s.
Educating Law Enforcement
Paradise notes that not many people are aware of how the symptoms of Huntington's Disease can present, so she makes up pamphlets for others to carry. These pamphlets can be especially helpful to police officers who may not recognize the symptoms.
“It tells you exactly what Huntington’s is, and the behaviors of it,” Chelsea said. “You shake really bad and you stumble and you fall a lot so people think that you’re drunk or you’re on drugs or that you have issues."
Living Life to the Fullest
Chelsea's attitude remains positive. Knowing that there's currently no cure for Huntington's, she says she plans to live every moment of her remaining years to the fullest.