About Debra Korn
My story starts when I was very young; as a small child, I never felt 100% well. I had chronic aches and pains, multiple colds and sinus infections, and when I hit puberty at 15, I began to have severe menstrual pains accompanied by nausea, vomiting. I was always sick, pneumonia multiple times a year, gastrointestinal issues and severe anemia and endometriosis. All these symptoms are markers for autoimmune disease which should not have come as a surprise to me because I had diabetes, MS, lupus & rheumatoid arthritis throughout both sides of my family.
I was a very active child, I danced professionally beginning at age 8, rode horses competitively, and played soccer, all while never feeling quite right, I just pushed through each day believing that this was my life and I had better learn to live with it. My parents took me to many doctors who basically just said, “we can’t find anything wrong with her, it’s most likely emotional as she is a perfectionist who puts a lot of pressure on herself”.
Fast forward, I'm a dance studio owner, teacher & choreographer working with thousands of children. A student came in & told me she had just been told she had celiac & had to follow a special diet. I asked to explain her symptoms & when she did, I knew I had celiac too. I marched to my doctor & demanded he test me; I'm sure you know the outcome! Well, that diagnoses led to 3 more autoimmune diseases which remained undiagnosed for years.
In 1998, I watch my father who was a diabetic slowly die all while losing a leg, undergoing open heart surgery, a mitral value replacement and ultimately dying of sepsis from an infected bed sore. I had a 3-year-old and a 12-year-old at the time, and I made a vow that my father’s end of life would not be mine.