This is the reality of the young woman’s life as she battles a rare disease — one for which there is no cure.
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She has been in and out of hospitals, has had three surgeries, with the most recent requiring three blood transfusions.
She has had a partially collapsed lung and kidney failure.
And when she’s not undergoing treatment, she has a regimen of daily medications.
Despite these challenges, the 24-year-old doesn’t allow herself to feel defeated. Instead, she is the one lifting the spirits of those around her, often with a humorous story or a joke.
The gift of laughter comes easily to Alli, her mother, Linda Rogers, said.
“She’s always been a funny girl,” she said.
Some might say she’s one in a million.
Actually, she’s one in a very few.
Alli has been diagnosed with lymphangiomatosis — a condition marked by the presence of cysts or tumors that grow in the lymphatic system.
According to Lymphangiomatosis & Gorham’s Disease Alliance, the lymphatic system helps to maintain fluid balance, defend the body against disease by producig lymphocytes and absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K) from the small intestine and transport them to the blood, bypassing the liver.
Although the tumors are not cancerous, they can multiply in great numbers, spread and interfere with the body’s normal functions.
The lungs, heart, spleen, abdomen, kidneys, liver, even the skin can be affected.
In Alli’s case, it has affected her abdomen and lungs with accumulations of lymphatic fluid.
The disease is so rare, there are no statistics on how many people suffer from the disease.
Often, it is misdiagnosed, which makes Alli an exceptional case — one of a handful of people who have been told they have lymphangiomatosis.
The daughter of Bill and Linda Rogers of Mercersburg, Pa., Rebecca Allise Rogers, known affectionately as “Alli,” currently lives in Salisbury, Md., with her boyfriend, Trey Byrd.
She was diagnosed with lymphangiomatosis in September of 2008 at the age of 20. The disease typically presents itself by age 20 years or younger, accordng to LGDA.