Growing up “sick” and being around hospitals was my childhood. This was life for me. I never thought I would get any better or worse. But now I would have never thought I’d be sitting here, a 3rd year college student writing this story, MY STORY!
As you could imagine, most of my childhood was spent in and out of doctor’s offices. I’ve had severe food allergies & eczema along with repetitive viral/pulmonary/respiratory infections all my life. In 2014, it was at my routine checkup with my allergy and immunologist, and she had mentioned that NIH in Bethesda Maryland was doing a study for DOCK 8 immunodeficiency. She stated that all my symptoms fall under this diagnosis.
Soon after, I was officially diagnosed with DOCK 8 immunodeficiency, a rare primary immune deficiency. Doctors had said my life expectancy was anywhere between 20 and 30 years old. We learned that our best option was a bone marrow transplant before I got really sick. Just two years following my diagnosis, everything became so fast paced! July 22nd of 2016 was my bone marrow transplant day!
Having gone through a bone marrow transplant was nothing less of a roller coaster to say the least. You had your good days, bad days and your really bad days!
Finally, in October right around Halloween I finally came home from the hospital. However, if you know anything about going through such an invasive treatment as a bone marrow transplant, the journey doesn’t stop there. I was getting weekly and then biweekly blood work for close to a year. I was in social isolation due to a lowered immune system and stayed home for my junior year of high school to protect myself from others. (sound familiar?)
I truly felt that time worked differently those days. However long the days were, I can gratefully say that I am now 4 years post-transplant and thriving!
During my time at home after my bone marrow transplant, I learned that no matter how hard things may seem we always have to look at the positive. We must do what we say we will, and my motto has been, “we will start tomorrow.”
With that guiding phrase, I picked up a makeup brush and haven’t put one down since! I started to play around and learn all that I could by teaching myself. I immersed myself in my passion. After four years I am proud to say that I am a licensed makeup artist!
Taking my story, I encourage you to pick that one passion and START whatever it may be, like I did 4 years ago!
About Kavya Nadella
Kayva is a junior at the University of Houston in Texas pursuing a career in Speech Pathology. She was diagnosed with DOCK 8 immunodeficiency, a rare primary immune deficiency, and received a bone marrow transplant in 2016. Now, she is a licensed makeup artist. You can follow along with her journey on Instagram.