In June 2015 Michael suffered a stroke with no warning signs, slightly elevated cholesterol levels, and a history of migraines with aura starting in my mid 30's. While being treated at Albany Med his doctors were confused until our dad brought in medical records from our mother who passed in 1988 at the age of 45. After reviewing her records, his Nurse Practitioner came back that he thought he may have CADASIL, an incurable genetic disorder often misdiagnosed as MS, Parkinson's and other neurological disorders. Long term prognosis is possible multiple strokes, dementia, and numerous neurological issues. Michael was officially diagnosed in August 2015, and Todd was tested and diagnosed in December of 2017.
Both Michael and Todd are enrolled in a National Institutes of Health Clinical study as well, with the hope of spreading the word about this rare disorder with the goal of helping others to get diagnosed correctly; obviously hoping for more research and awareness to find a cure; and simply sharing that instead of just giving up, you can always fight.
Please support our drive as well to learn more about CADASIL Awareness through our team page at http://givingpages.upenn.edu/CADASIL
About the Author:
Michael Kennedy lives with his wife Michelle and daughter Devin in Clifton Park, New York. They are owners of The Pink Dog Parlor and Resort, and have 5 dogs including a Cairn Terrier, Swedish Vallhund, Mini Golden Doodle, Havanese and a Mini American Shepherd! He is also a diehard sports fan of the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Boston Bruins. Michael was diagnosed with CADASIL in 2015 and is an avid volunteer for cureCADASIL.org.
About the Illustrator
Jean Tower grew up in Schenectady, NY and now lives in Duanesburg, NY with her husband and 2 children. She received a B.S. from Roberts Wesleyan College for Art Education, majoring in Oil paint and Graphic design. She dabbles in a variety of artistic endeavors like watercolor, stage/set design, fresco painting and cement sculpture. When she's not grooming dogs in her salon, her main focus is Oil painting, where she paints dog and cat portraits for pet owners.