Have you ever heard of invisible illnesses? Do you have any clue what they are? Are you aware that some people you know may have an invisible illness that is ravaging their body on the inside, but shows little to no signs on the outside? Would it make a difference in your relationship with them? Unfortunately, it often does.
Take the case of Victoria Graham, a 23-year-old beauty queen from Maryland. Outwardly, Graham is a ravishing young beauty that surely captures the attention of many young men. When she walks out on the stage at a beauty pageant in a gown, she is a real crowd pleaser. However, when she turns her back to the audience to return to her place on the stage, many onlookers gasp at the sight of the same young beauty. Running from the base of her skull, down her spine to her tailbone is a telltale pink scar.
Graham has suffered from an invisible illness her entire life, but that 25-inch scar extending the length of her back is the only outward sign. It’s there because she has undergone 10 surgeries on her brain and spine. Without those surgeries, she would not be able to stand up straight.
Graham suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). According to The Ehlers-Danlos Society:
“Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a group of connective tissue disorders that can be inherited and are varied both in how affect the body and in their genetic causes. They are generally characterized by joint hypermobility (joints that stretch further than normal), skin hyperextensibility (skin that can be stretched further than normal), and tissue fragility.”