“My name is Emily Marie Moore and I’ve been making Narcolepsy look good since 2009"
Running is who I am. Whether it’s running on a cross-country course, chasing a basketball down the court, or running endless miles on the track. Running is as natural to me as sleep has become to me now. I was living my dream in a small school in a small town. You know, where you play every sport, participate in every event, and know everything about everyone. I had my life planned out; everything was simple. That was, until my freshman year in High School. It started well enough. My cross-country team was Regional Runner-ups and qualified for the State Championships for the first time in school history. But despite our accomplishments, I was constantly tired. I would come home after practice, eat, and then go straight to bed. My grades started to fall, too. I was a good student. Not bragging, but I was an A student and now all of the sudden I was getting D’s and F’s. I was barely eligible to play sports, and I was working hard in my classes. The teachers kept telling me to wake up, but I didn’t even know I was asleep. I was missing information, and didn’t even know it. I was frustrated, my Mom was frustrated, my teachers were frustrated, and my coaches were frustrated. During the Spring Parent/Teacher conferences, my science teacher, CT Young, who I completely respect as a teacher, coach, and friend, approached my Mom with the idea that I could have Narcolepsy. He showed her one of my science worksheets where I had started writing the answer, but had ended the sentence in chicken like scratches; obviously it was where I had fallen asleep. My Mom took me to the doctor, but instead of testing me for Narcolepsy, my doctor tested me for Mono. Since I had Mono when I was an 8th grader, I once again tested positive for it, so it was just assumed all my sleepiness was only because I had mono again.Thankfully, I passed my freshman year of High School. However, I was a three-sport letter winner, and since my academics had let me down, sports kept me going. Summer came, and I slept away most of my days. I also had my first experience with Cataplexy during that summer as well. I like to laugh and have a good time, so as you can imagine, I spend a good amount of time on the ground. I don’t mind, except I can’t ever finish a good joke because I always end up laughing and Cataplexing half way through. When my Mom saw me Cataplex that summer, she made ma an appointment to go back to see my doctor. After the usual tests, I finally had my diagnoses….Narcolepsy/Cataplexy. I didn’t let this diagnoses bother me because I was deep into another season of cross country. But my Narcolepsy was severe, severe enough for me to be referred to a doctor 4 and a half hours away from my little town and in another state. It was only at my first meeting with my team of doctors in Kansas City, and when I say team, I mean my primary doctor, his nurse, social worker, psychiatrist, and his many residents, that I realized my disability was serious. I may have only been a Sophomore in High School, but I was determined that this was not going to interfere with my dream of becoming a collegiate runner. I think my Children’s Mercy doctor picked up on my attitude because he continually drilled me on the seriousness of my situation. He acted like he wanted me to go home, curl up in bed and be depressed with this diagnoses. Uhh, NO!! My runner’s mindset has always been set to win. I’m not programmed to lose. Narcolepsy will not beat me.I am currently 19 years old, going to college full-time, and studying to become a Special Education teacher. I did reach my dream of becoming a college athlete. I run both cross country and track at Bethel College. I struggle with my medicine and the workouts sometimes, but I refuse to let it get in the way of me living my dream. I am very proud to have Narcolepsy and Cataplexy. These two disorders helped shape me into the person I am today. I strongly believe that no one should ever be ashamed of their disability, but instead embrace it. My name is Emily Marie Moore and I’ve been making Narcolepsy look good since 2009.