Kerri Sweeris speaks about Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month

This is Kerri Sweeris. She has myasthenia gravis.

The wife of city wastewater treatment plant superintendent Doug Sweeris, she spoke to the Allegan County News above after the Allegan City Council meeting June 9.

At the meeting, the city council officially recognized June as Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month.

She was hospitalized six weeks after they married in 2000. After weeks of sedation and tests, she was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease in which her immune system attacks the connections between her nerves and muscle.

It affects approximately seven individuals in 10,000 and causes physical weakness.

Kerri Sweeris said the disease can be deadly when undiagnosed, as it can affect respiration. In early stages, it tends to affect the eyes, causing droopy eyelids. It can also be present in neck and jaw weakness. Generalized myasthenia gravis can spread to arms and legs, making movement difficult.

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