Fly for the Kids Patient Stories – Lauren Mullane
As a toddler, Lauren was always tired. Her eyes would droop when she tried to concentrate on a game or task, and she needed lots of rest just to get through the day. Worried about why Lauren was so fatigued, the Mullane’s took her to the doctor.
A consult with a local neurologist and one blood test later, the results were clear: Lauren had a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease called Myasthenia Gravis.
Myasthenia Gravis occurs when the immune system interferes with the signals sent from the nervous system to the muscles, causing muscle weakness. Though there is no cure for Myasthenia Gravis, the symptoms can be managed with ongoing treatment.
“When Lauren was diagnosed we were heartbroken about all the obstacles she would face. We asked our GP to help us find the best neurologist to treat and support Lauren on her journey. We were referred to Andrew Kornberg and have been making the trip to Melbourne a few times a year since,” said mum Erin.
At Lauren’s first appointment, Andrew put together a plan to manage Lauren’s disease. He arranged for her to receive care from the Neurology, Endocrinology, Cardiology and Ophthalmology teams, and prescribed medication and infusions to suppress Lauren’s immune response.
To give Lauren the best chance of improvement, she also underwent two surgeries to remove her thymus gland. Normally dormant, in Myasthenia Gravis patients the thymus gland produces antibodies that interfere with their muscles’ ability to contract. Removing this gland either significantly reduces or eliminates debilitating symptoms.
“We have continued gratitude to Andrew for his knowledge and professionalism. He has empowered us to support Lauren in her journey. We are also grateful for the amazing relationship Lauren and Andrew have built. He has always encouraged and inspired Lauren to be more than her condition, and as parents it’s wonderful to know that she’s receiving the very best care. Under Andrew’s care we have hope that Lauren can achieve her dreams, be symptom free and eventually Myasthenia Gravis free in the future.”
Lauren and her family have embraced Andrew’s fundraiser for the hospital, Fly for the Kids, even inspiring Lauren’s school to get involved.
“Lauren’s school has embraced Fly for the Kids and the students are taking part in the Paper Plane Challenge by creating aeroplanes for gold coin donations. It’s wonderful to see them supporting and giving hope to children like Lauren. Every donation helps children with neurological conditions receive the care and support they need to thrive and achieve