Advanced Care Physical Therapy is proud to support our good friend John Geraci as he supports the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation to make a difference for those confronted with this disease. After reading John’s story, please consider making a donation to support his efforts to help find a cure..
“I really appreciate the support of the entire Advance Care Physical Therapy Team for supporting me with physical therapy, and my research fundraising efforts . It means a lot to me and I can’t thank everyone enough.” John Geraci
Imagine your first day of high school. Excitement, new friends, places to go, things to do. For John, high school started with unexplained and uncontrollable vomiting. John had multiple surgeries and scopes in attempt to solve the problem. Eventually, John sought medical help throughout the country to only remain undiagnosed and exhausted. His health continued to deteriorate with episodes of passing out. This lead to IV therapy and his sophomore and junior years being home tutored.
With medication and help from a team of doctors at Case Western, John’s life returned to normalcy for about 2 years. Suddenly, John could no longer trust his body. His heart rate reduced to 18 beats a minute and his blood pressure would plummet, rendering him unable to walk around the house without falling unconscious. At age 22, John was diagnosed with third degree heart block and a pacemaker was implanted. While the pacemaker was lifesaving, John suffered next what appeared to be stroke like symptoms and seizures. These problems persisted and spread to the rest of his body. Issues with his kidneys, pancreas, and GI tract, crippled his ability to enjoy simple things.
The search for a cause began again. During this search, John had numerous emergency room visits and hospitalizations, had a port inserted, went on total parenteral nutrition, missed holiday celebrations, dropped out of school and all other activities, and was ultimately confined to his bed. Finally, in the fall of 2012 the search ended when John was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease.
Although the diagnosis brought relief as his symptoms were now being properly treated, John had to face the fact he was living with an incurable disease. However, determined not to let mito dictate his life and concerned about others diagnosed, John decided to take action.
John has established a research fund which will solely support research projects focused on finding ways to help manage, treat, and ultimately cure mitochondrial disease.
“Giving back to make someone else’s life better is one of the greatest gifts we have. We are so proud of John. On behalf of our entire team we want to thank John and wish him the best of luck with his efforts.”
Chuck Collard, Vice President Advanced Care Physical therapy, Co-founder of Carly’s Club