I recently enjoyed lunch with Dora, another NMO patient. One of the great things about this blog is how it has helped us connect with others who we might not have ever met. When Dora emailed me I was thrilled to learn of another NMO patient living in my community. Especially in Canada, the reach for others living with NMO seems so few and far between.

I met Dora in a busy downtown restaurant over the lunch rush. The first thing I noticed about Dora is how absolutely stunning she is. Dora has impeccable style and the brightest smile. To those passing our table we simply looked like two friends meeting for a meal but instead we both suffer from an invisible disease.

Like other women our age, Dora focuses on moving forward in her life. She has a thriving career as a pharmacist and enjoys working with her diverse clients. She hopes to one day marry her long time boyfriend who works as an entrepreneur. And together they have been working with a surrogate to grow their family. But what makes Dora unique (and makes me feel less alone in this disease) is how she’s learnt to deal with NMO. Dora is visually impaired in one eye and has had multiple attacks over several years. Our conversation quickly turned into how we manage NMO. We both expressed how support from our families was monumental in our healing, our difficulties with the universal medical system, and of course, our mutual disgust for the weight gain that comes with the steroids.

What I took away from lunch was another friend, someone else who understands what it’s like but most importantly, Dora taught me the art of “it’s not really a big deal”. Like I mentioned, you’d never know looking at us that we have NMO but somehow Dora seems more put together. After lunch she had to run an errand before a 3pm work meeting on a Friday afternoon. That’s just life. That’s just another day. That’s not really a big deal.

But it is Dora because we have NMO.

It was a pleasure meeting you Dora. I look forward to us continuing our friendship.

Dec 2012



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