Battleground Diagnosis: The War to Survive Cushing’s Disease

Battleground Diagnosis, directed by filmmaker, Marc Harris, is a feature length documentary film that shares the stories of the survivors of a rare illness, Cushings Syndrome/Disease.

Marc Harris is the cousin of Karen Thames, Cushings survivor. He witnessed Karen go from a vibrant young Clinical Psychologist in practice, to someone whose health deteriorated due to the symptoms of Cushings, as she tried for many years to get answers from professionals. As she continued to eat a healthy, 1000 calorie per day diet, engage in exercise with multiple personal trainers, and follow through with referrals to consult with dietitians; Karen continued to gain weight at a rate of 5 pounds per week and experience rapidly declining health. Finally, after watching a Cushings episode of Mystery Diagnosis, Karen Found her answer! Ultimately, she sought the expertise of and treatment from a team of experts at the Seattle Pituitary Center in Seattle, WA. Karen had brain surgery in Seattle on November 16th, 2011. After a recurrence of Cushings, Karen had a Bilateral Adrenalectomy (BLA) in Wisconsin on August 21st, 2013.   This leaves Karen with Adrenal Insufficiency for life. However, she continues to fight and thrive!

After having a discussion with Marc in which Karen described that she knew hundreds of others who also had been through long journeys with Cushings, the diagnostic and treatment process; In November, 2012, Marc and Karen decided to document these stories.  Since that decision, Marc has traveled all over the country to interview Cushings patients who are all known to Karen. They all share their stories of struggle, pain, and triumph in the hopes that they can help the world to understand this rare disease.

Marc has also interviewed experts including Endocrinologists with expertise in Cushings, neurosurgeons, BLA surgeons, and mental health experts.

Karen’s continues to thrive everyday as a wife, a mother, and an overcomer! She has made the empowered conscious choice to use her professional background to advocate for the Cushing’s community and to be a voice for all of these brave warriors-Battleground!

We want to shout out loud to the world and spread the word about this documentary, which we hope will affect change and help save lives!

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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