Louisiana woman hoping to save others from rare condition after losing her mother

Amyloidoisis Foundation
Posted at 4:00 AM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 07:12:05-04

In 2020, Megan Alford's life changed forever.

"She was just a genuine person," Alford said. "She was always my biggest cheerleader, I'm so proud of you. She was my best friend, pretty much. It's so hard to talk about her because I miss her so much."

Her best friend and mother, Vickie Ballard, passed away from a rare condition.

"She was one of the strongest people I knew. She really fought up until the end. She didn't think that that was it. She just knew that she was going to get better."

Megan said the signs that her mother experienced were subtle.

"In early 2019 she started having sores in her mouth," Alford said. "She went to her ENT, and he thought it was from radiation. He gave her mouth wash and it got better. Then she started losing weight, we didn't know why she told her doctor and they though it was her thyroid. They tested it and everything was fine. Then she started having swelling in her lower legs around her ankles and shortness of breath."

Amyloidoisis Foundation

It was at that time, December of 2019, that Ballard was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

Eight months later that diagnosis proved to be wrong.

"We found out that it wasn't congestive heart failure causing all of her problems it was the Amyloidosis, "Alford said. "They say less than 200-thousand people are diagnosed with it. From the research that I've done, it seems to be more common it's just not diagnosed enough."

Ballard lost her battle three weeks later.

Amyloidoisis Foundation

"It has been very hard to lose my mom because we were super close," Alford said. "I talked to my mom every single day, there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't talk to her. I try and take my pain to spread awareness to people about this disease because it is so rare and often missed. There is treatment for this disease. We just need to spread awareness so more people know about this, because there are people that can live with this and get better. Every story doesn't have to be like my mom's, they can have stories of survival. That's what I want one day, to have more stories of survival and less stories like my mom."

While life will never be the same for Alford after the loss of her mom, she said her mom's legacy will live on. Even if she can save one person, her job has been done.

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