New Braunfels teens battle rare disorder

Fundraiser planned to benefit teens with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Author: Isis Romero , Anchor,
Published On: May 22 2013 10:21:25 PM CDT   Updated On: May 22 2013 10:34:00 PM CDT

Three New Braunfels teenagers who have been diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD, are holding a fundraiser next month to pay for treatment.

Abby Dunkin, Kristina Wahl, and Biancha Pizzini were all diagnosed with the disorder after a sports-related injury, and are currently seeking treatment outside of Texas.

RSD is a rare disorder, in which a person experiences constant and severe pain.

The disorder is triggered after trauma to the body, such as an injury or surgery, and can spread to extremities, even after the wounds have healed.

“It's very limited with what I can do with dancing,” said Wahl, an incoming sophomore who injured herself while performing gymnastics. “I've had to give up all of my other activities.”

Like Wahl, Dunkin has also had to give up her activities, and now relies on the use of a wheelchair to get around. Dunkin, an incoming senior who plays on the school’s Varsity basketball team, says she hopes her condition improves over the summer. 

“Usually, a high school student doesn't deal with stuff like that,” Dunkin said. “But I think God has a plan, and whatever happens, happens for a reason.”

Though the disorder is hard to treat and often goes misdiagnosed, the teens say they find some comfort in each other.

“You don't expect other people to have it,” said Pizzini, an incoming freshman who plays golf and volleyball. “But it's such a blessing when you're going through a flare up or something and you just need to just let it out, and they actually get what's going on.”

Pizzini developed RSD after a foot surgery in November, and also relies on a the use of a wheelchair.

The teens say their families’ insurance plans do not cover the cost of treatments, and will be holding a fundraiser to help with their medical expenses.

The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, June 7th from 4 to 7pm at The Vinyard at Gruene, 1190 Gruene Rd. in New Branufels.

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