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Diagnosed with myasthenia gravis when she was 22, Courtney underwent treatment that ultimately made her illness worse. As part of her healing journey, she produced the documentary film Beauty Does Lie: The Untold Stories of Autoimmune Diseases. Through interviews with seven African-American women and two doctors, Beauty Does Lie tells the story of living with these chronic, potentially debilitating diseases and the misunderstanding that women often encounter from others because they look healthy on the outside.
After becoming suicidal due to complications from medications and her illness, Courtney decided to stop taking medication and use diet, yoga, and meditation to try to heal. In this episode, Courtney speaks candidly about her journey, what she learned in the making of her film, and her current approach to healing.
What Courtney and I talk about
- What is myasthenia gravis and Courtney’s experience of diagnosis
- Courtney’s journey in to and out of denial about her illness
- The story she wanted to tell in her film
- How to deal with people not understanding your limitations due to health
- What has helped Courtney cope through all of her challenges with her health
- Why she decided to stop taking medication
- How Courtney is using diet, yoga, and meditation to support her healing journey
“Each week I get to see my body make small improvements, so it just lets me know that I’m on the right path. I need to be a little bit more patient with my body, and I need to realize I’m working on something that has been in existence for thirteen years—it’s not going to happen overnight.”
“All of our stories are the same.”
Courtney was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis in 2001, at the age of 22. She had a thymectomy to try to force the disease into remission, but realized later that it had not worked. As a result, Courtney went on a mission to make people aware of their health and of what women with autoimmune diseases go through on a daily basis. She founded Control Your Auto Productions, Inc. and produced and filmed the award-winning documentary Beauty Does Lie: The Untold Stories of Autoimmune Diseases. Courtney is a spokesperson for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA).
Currently, Courtney is on a healing journey of stopping medications, Since May 2014 she has only used food, yoga, and breathing techniques to heal her body.
Find Courtney Online
Courtney’s Gift for the AI Adventures Club
Video recording of Courtney’s presentation at the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America’s national conference in 2012, including a 20 minute edited clip of Beauty Does Lie: The Untold Stories of Autoimmune Diseases.
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