When Kalee Polichio took her 52-year-old mother to the doctor, they told her it was probably vertigo.
But her mom was falling all the time, her eyesight was declining, as was her ability to walk. Her handwriting was much worse. Polichio sought a second opinion and discovered her mother had a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as CJD.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, CJD is extremely rare, affecting one person in every one million per year worldwide.
“She was so young and healthy,” Polichio said of her mother, prior to diagnosis. “We didn’t plan. We didn’t have things to help. … We tried to do as much as we could, but we had no local support here in Colorado.”
After her mom died six months after her diagnosis, Polichio began researching the disease and helped form a local chapter of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation.
Canyon Courier is your source for local news, sports, events, and information in Evergreen, Colo, and the surrounding area.
to help support your local news! Call circulation manager Tom Fildey at 303-350-1030 to begin. Subscriptions start at $41 annually for in-county residents.