[Graphic Opening (Words appear over black brick background)]


[Elizabeth:] Bogus Stories


[Sterling:] Bad Solutions


[Kerry:] Being Silent?


No. No more BS about HS.


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[Kerry:] My name is Kerry, and I am from Ireland. I have two gorgeous boys—Kian, who’s 5, and Kieran, who is 9 months. I suffered my first symptoms when I was 15. It’s called hidradenitis suppurativa: lumps underneath the arms, groin, and underneath the breasts. It took me a while to go to my mother, 'cause I had lumps down, you know, in my groin area as a young girl. Um, but they got so painful, I didn’t know what to do. So, I went to my mother and then she took me to my first gynecologist appointment. This gynecologist, um, took one look at me and looked down there and looked at my mother and said, “Uh—it’s herpes.” I’m not even sexually active! Like there’s no possible way that that is herpes. And the results came back—and um, of course: negative. And then all through my twenties, I kept going to doctors, looking for answers. And the lumps started getting really, really bad and running after little ones, it’s, it’s, it’s all hands-on. Like, there was many times that Chris or my mother had to pick them up. Even going in and out the car with both arms. I couldn’t even lift my arms. It was very trying. I had to take my time. They understand. Kian, my little fella, he’s such a big help. He’s only 5. He shouldn’t have to see mommy like this. He shouldn’t have to pick me up. I should be picking him up, y’know? It’s tough. I cried; when I found out from a real dermatologist—she was the first person that told me, she goes, “I think it’s hidradenitis suppurativa.” And I’m like, Hidra-whaat? I had no idea what she…I was like, Can you please write that down for me? To have a name to it after 15 long years was…it was a bittersweet, you know what I mean? It was just almost like a sigh of relief, like I wasn’t going crazy or I wasn’t the only one. If a person’s out there suffering with unknown lumps and in pain, don’t give up. Go see a doctor. My family is my rock. We’re very close-knit. When I’m with them I’m not embarrassed. I’m me. I—I plan on taking this to the bitter end, you know what I mean? It’s not going to take me down. I have a lot of fight in me. I don’t have time for the BS about HS.