Woman From NJ Battles Reflex Sympathy Disorder - KMSP-TV

Woman Who Fought Devastating Diseases Says Her Journey Is Far From Over

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A New Jersey woman fought a devastating disease and won, but her journey is far from over.

FOX 29's Chris O'Connell has her story.

23-year-old Melissa McCormick can't look at her old high school pictures. The smiling senior was about to graduate from Gloucester Catholic on her way to a track scholarship but that all changed with a diagnosis of a rare disease called reflex sympathy dystrophy.

The illness was debilitating her condition painful with no known cure continued for the next 5 years.

"Most days I would stay in bed all day. My whole body felt like it was on fire. I was weak," McCormick said.

Years of taking potent painkillers took a heavy toll on Melissa. She lost all of her teeth.

"I was really depressed there were many times I thought of suicide... I'm not going to lie," McCormick said.

Then came what she calls a miracle trip to Texas to see a doctor who used a machine to treat her. Unbelievably in just 7 weeks, her pain was gone. Melissa could walk again. She began to get her life back.

"Since then it's been amazing. I'm back to school. I have a 3.6 average. I met an awesome guy who takes care of me," she said.

Melissa's teeth are still missing. She's taken to a micro-funding site to help ask the public for the $20,000 for dental implant surgery.

"It makes me feel ugly and I'm 23 years old most people my age they have teeth they can smile I can't do that," she said.

Donations have already started coming in. She's hoping with the generosity of strangers she'll be smiling taking selfies by summer.

Melissa says having her teeth would make everything complete again. She has already raised $7600 of her $20,000 goal.

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