Woman with Mystery Illness Takes to Facebook for Diagnosis, Offers Reward

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Australian resident Kathy Divine has taken to social media network Facebook for a rather unique purpose: to find a diagnosis for a medical condition that has eluded a diagnosis from doctors. Divine is offering a bounty on her illness: $500AU to anyone who can successfully diagnose her condition.

With 1 billion users, Facebook is a prime virtual location for reaching out to the masses. It is not uncommon to hear about old lovers reuniting, adoptive kids finding their biological parents, and classmates connecting again. With asking users to share her story, Divine is taking advantage of the fact that she has a huge potential audience, and in theory it could take just one out of the potential millions of users who see it to be able to help her out.

Divine’s heartfelt plea reads:


“I am offering a AU$500 reward to the person who can name the medical condition that is causing my symptoms. After the expensive experts concluding it is a ‘mystery illness’ I have decided I’m not really into mysteries and would like to get it sorted. With a billion people using Facebook, this could be the way to connect with someone who has the same problem and knows what it is. So these are the symptoms: right-sided weakness with compromised ability to walk, numb right arm and leg, muscle contractions in right leg affects walking. Symptoms have rapid onset and last for a few weeks but then disappear entirely. Coincides with extreme fatigue. Has been happening for four years. I have been tested for all the major neurological diseases. Drs suggest it could an infection but don’t know which one. All suggestions welcome. If I can confirm with a dr your suggestion is correct, you will get the reward. :)”

While there have been drawbacks of social media websites like Facebook, such as privacy issues, Divine is showing the benefits of having so many people accessible in one place. As more people shared her plea, more people began offering their opinions and Divine reported that she’s received private messages offering assistance. Says Divine, “I am looking to connect with people who have rare neurological illnesses or rare viruses that cause neurological problems that don’t show up on MRI imaging.”

If you feel that you can be of assistance to Ms. Divine, you can contact her through her Facebook page.

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