In the Fall of 2001, I was days into the first semester of my 3rd year of graduate school and I was tired.  Sure, graduate students get by on very little sleep – even more so if you’re a design student.  However, we had not been assigned any research papers or a big studio project – we were still collecting our syllabi.  Yet, I was so tired.  Even when I tried to keep up with friends, it felt as if I was walking through water, or better yet, pushing through water.  My back and joints ached and I had a quiet, dry cough at the end of long sentences.  One evening on the phone, I mentioned my ailments to my mother, a registered nurse, and she immediately made appointments for me to be seen by the doctors she knew and respected.

On September 11, 2001, I was diagnosed with…

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