Keeping up the fight for fallen Warrior

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Keeping up the fight for fallen Warrior

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In light of the tragic loss of alumna Christina Tournant last year, students and staff at Osceola have become more invested in the fight against the condition known as dysautonomia. This is a disease with which Tournant was afflicted before her ending her life. October has been declared Dysautonomia Awareness Month by Dysautonomia International, and Warriors showed their support for this cause by wearing blue around school last Friday in tandem with remembering the anniversary of the passing of classmate Devin Chester.

Dysautonomia, according to the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation, is a “…general term used to describe a breakdown, or failure of the autonomic nervous system”. The autonomic nervous system involves bodily functions such as “…regulation of heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and perspiration”. Failure of the body to properly keep these functions going strong can result in symptoms such as exhaustion, feeling lightheaded, weakened physical state, and lack of ability to perform well mentally. Forms of dysautonomia include Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, otherwise known as POTS, Pure Autonomic Failure, or PAF, and Multiple Systems Atrophy, or MSA.

Christina Tournant was loved by many, and achieved much in her time—she went on to become a student at MIT and performed extremely well both academically and athletically during her time at OFHS, becomeing graduating class valedictorian. She inspired countless individuals to help battle this disease. One such person was one of her closest friends, fellow Osceola alumna Nicole Nesto.

“Christina has had an incredible impact on my life, more so than words can even begin to describe. She was truly an inspiration to almost everyone who knew her—in school, in sports, or just in life,” Nesto said. “She was the hardest worker I knew and she taught me an innumerable amount of life lessons simply by leading as the example.”

Nesto has been working hard to spread awareness for dysautonomia, and has been motivated not just by the cause of her friend, but also by the cause of countless others who are dealing with this disease. “I want to be there to help other people fight those battles and I want them to know that dysautonomia doesn’t define who they are just like it didn’t define Christina.”

According to Nesto, to start getting involved with this cause, there are multiple options—some of the fastest and easiest ways being to join the Dysautonomia Project for free as a member or teaming up with the Dysautonomia International site to volunteer.

 

For more information:

National Dysautonomia Research Foundation:

http://www.ndrf.org/

 

Dysautonomia Project:

https://thedysautonomiaproject.org/join-the-project/

 

Dysautonomia International:

http://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/page.php?ID=20

 

 

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