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Tri-Valley Hero: Vidhima Shetty, Sharing Others' Stories
Sunday 17 November 2019
Tri-Valley Hero: Vidhima Shetty, sharing others' stories
Teen author, journalist from San Ramon receives Rising Star award
Vidhima Shetty, 18, made a name for herself locally with her dogged pursuit to help sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome.
When she was attending California High School in San Ramon, she became aware of the plight of an afflicted young man in her neighborhood, talked to his family and learned more about the disease. She published an article about it in her school paper, The Californian.
"This disease affects 1.5 million to 2 million people in the United States, but it is not very well-known," Shetty said.
The disease is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), which means a neuro inflammation of the brain and the spine.
Shetty said after her story went online, she was surprised by a barrage of emails from people coping with the illness. Compounding the suffering, patients have to deal with people who do not understand it.
"I started getting comments from all over the world, thankful that someone who doesn't have the disease went out of the way to write about it," Shetty said.
In response to the interest, Shetty expanded her research, sought help from medical professionals to review her findings, and last year published a 122-page book, "An Adolescent's Guide to ME/CFS." She donates proceeds to the Open Medicine Foundation, which is doing research to find a cure.
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