My name is Andrew and I was diagnosed with Coats’ Disease when I was four-years-old. Growing up, I never particularly liked how it made me visibly different and set me aside from other kids, but I’ve tried my hardest to never let it get in the way of the things I wanted to accomplish. It has inspired me to want to become a physician to help others the way that doctors helped me when I was young.
Ever since my diagnosis and treatment, I have been extremely driven to pursue medicine and I can honestly not see myself doing anything else. The path to medicine is long and winding. I have recently graduated from University and I’m going to start my Masters in September with the hopes of improving my application for medical school.
One eye has removed my depth perception, making sports generally difficult. Despite this, I have been involved in karate for 9 years, earned my black belt and have also been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a few years. Learning and teaching in both has been incredibly important in making me the person I am today. I’ve learned to view my eye as something that makes me unique. I spent a large portion of my childhood wanting to fit in and be like everyone else, but I’ve learned to roll with it. I often tell people it makes me a constant flirt, because I’m always winking at everyone.
I write this post with the hopes of letting parents of kids with Coats’ and Coats’ kids themselves know that they should embrace it and realize that the only thing that hinders or limits you is your own perspective on it. Thank you to the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation for all the work they do.
To submit your Coats’ Story, please go here.