BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — According to doctors, Amyloidosis is a rare and often misdiagnosed disease characterized by a buildup of abnormal amyloid deposits in the body. Amyloid deposits can build up in the heart, brain, kidneys, spleen and other parts of the body.
The month of March is Amyloidosis Awareness Month. Spreading awareness for the condition is something near and dear to the heart of Megan Alford from Livingston Parish. Her mother, Vickie, died from the disease in August of 2020, just days after her 65th birthday.
“I’ve had so many people reach out to me, and people that have lost loved ones from this disease and have told me thank you for raising awareness,” said Alford. “Looking back there were symptoms she had that were subtle, such as bruises under her eyes. She had sores on her tongue. She was losing weight and didn’t know why. I remember her saying she hadn’t changed anything in her diet.”
Doctors said Amyloidosis is often misdiagnosed because symptoms are similar to other conditions.
“They told her she had congestive heart failure, and they started treating her to get the fluid off and some heart meds,” Alford said.
Since her mother’s death, Alford has been raising awareness. This year she is selling t-shirts for the Amyloidosis Foundation. If you are interested in supporting her campaign, click here.
Alford has pushed businesses and state leaders to put up billboards in Denham Springs, Baton Rouge and other parts of Louisiana.
“I feel like the more we get that word out there, people will be like what is that and look it up,” said Alford.
Supporters joining the ‘Light the Night’ campaign this month. Homes, businesses and landmarks going red to draw attention to the illness. The State Capitol building and Caesars Superdome in New Orleans participating.
Alford said, “It’s amazing to have the support system that I do. I couldn’t do that without my family, my husband, he’s so amazing. My dad, he’s great. My mother-in-law is great. She texted me and said ‘Your mother would be so proud.'”