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Siria Arriaga fights rare autoimmune disease called Takayasu's arteritus

Business partner Kyle Watters, friends help raise money for medical bills

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio woman battling a rare autoimmune disease called Takayasu's arteritus is getting a little help from friends.

Kyle Watters and his business partner Siria Arriaga met about a year ago.

They were well on their way to building a new online radio station when their plans were put on hold because Arriaga was diagnosed with Takayasu's disease.

The disease causes blood vessel inflammation, which can damage the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body.

The disease can lead to blockages or narrowed arteries, which can eventually lead to heart failure.

"I have complete blockage of my left artery. And I have severe narrowing of my heart all the way to the back of my neck," Arriaga said.

Because the illness is so rare -- only two in 1 million people are diagnosed annually -- treatment has been hard to come by and costly.

"Right now, a lot of what I'm doing is getting rejected by doctors who don't know what this is," Arriaga said.

Frustrated and concerned, Watters decided to try and help by building a ChipIn web page to raise money for her mounting medical bills.

"She's done a lot in the community. She's the most selfless person I know and she would hate for people to spend their hard-earned money on her," Watters said.

Arriage said she has around $15,000 dollars worth of medical bills. So far on ChipIn, they've raised nearly $500.


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