COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO) - Lewis-Palmer Middle School Physical Education teacher Katelynn Gillen is fighting for her life after being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Virus and John Cunninghams Virus two weeks ago.
The Epstein-Barr virus - also known as EBV - is one of eight viruses in the herpes family. Also known as human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), it's one of the most common viruses in humans, with between 90% and 95% of adults infected.
"Your whole life just changes in a matter of weeks, you are just dealing with some pain and discomfort like we all do, but now I have transitioned on being on oxygen and not being able to take care of myself," said Gillen.
The virus started with pain in her hands and feet, causing discoloration in her toes. Since then, the Epstein-Barr Virus has caused her a couple of brain lesions as well multiple organ complications and extreme pain.
In less than a week, Gillen will be embarking on a new journey to find a cure. She'll undergo treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she will be hospitalized for six weeks. There, she will be getting a stem-cell transplant and chemotherapy.
While she's struggling now, Gillen tells KRDO she finds solace in knowing she'll soon be getting the help she needs.
Now, Gillen is asking the community to help her on her road to recovery.
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