A Local Woman Shares Her Journey With Stiffness Syndrome

Rocky River, Ohio (WJWs) – singer Celine Dion’s A medical diagnosis sheds light on a condition known as stiffness syndromeneuropathy that can cause chronic pain, muscle spasms, and hypersensitivity to noise, among other symptoms.

“I feel really bad for her. She’s going to have a long and tough time. Your life will never be the same,” said Maureen Materna, 75, of Rocky River, Ohio.

Materna has struggled with stiffness syndrome for 11 years.

“My feet look perfectly normal, but they feel like I’m walking on broken glass,” Materna said.

It took two years and 20 doctors before Materna saw a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

“I listed all my symptoms and immediately he said, ‘You have stiff person syndrome,'” recalls Materna.

Dr. Robert Wilson said the rare disease affects about 1 in 1 million people.

“Maureen is a warrior. These people have pain. A stabbing, tearing, torturous pain,” Wilson said.

There is currently no cure for stiff person syndrome, only treatment.

“Their muscles are locked out of control, so drugs such as muscle relaxants and autoimmune treatments can be used,” Wilson said.

As for Maureen, she has learned to live with this debilitating illness. She hopes Dion’s diagnosis will help clarify that as well. A Local Woman Shares Her Journey With Stiffness Syndrome

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