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Patients with disease that attacks the nerves can find help during free event

For Mary Ofoli of East Lansing, being able to help people relieve stress and manage daily life through massage and other forms of hands-on healing, is a passion. But when her hands and feet started to become numb, doing what she loved and everyday activities such as walking became difficult. In less than four days, Ofoli went from having a normal active life, to experiencing paralysis and not being able to swallow, talk or walk.

Initially diagnosed with the rare disease Guillain-Barre syndrome, Ofoli later discovered she had another rare and devastating disease – Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, or CIDP.

On Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, neurologists at Michigan State University will hold what may be one of the first university forums in Michigan that addresses CIDP, a disease that affects around 900 people in the state. In Lansing, there are 45 known cases.

The event, supported by the GBS/CIDP Foundation, is free to attend and will be held in the MSU Radiology auditorium located at 846 Service Road, East Lansing, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The foundation is an international organization dedicated to helping those with CIDP, as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, or GBS, both diseases known for attacking the nerves.

CIDP is hard to identify and can quickly destroy nerves in the arms and legs and if gone unchecked, can result in an inability to move or feel. There is no cure for CIDP, but it can be managed.

Amit Sachdev, a neurologist with the College of Osteopathic Medicine, along with Amro Stino, a neurologist from the University of Michigan, will discuss current and future therapies for patients. Advice on how to recover from CIDP will also be presented by physical therapist Megan Reid, who has worked with patients through the Recovery Project, a rehabilitation facility in Michigan.

Because of the treatments available today, there is hope. Ofoli has most of her feeling back and now is providing stress relief to her clients once again, at least on a part-time basis.

Registration is required and can be done online through the GBS/CIDP Foundation website. Patients with CIDP looking for treatment can contact MSU Neurology at 517-353-8122.

By: Sarina Gleason