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Left Speechless – Meghan Markle silenced as guest shares harrowing tale of daughter’s terminal diagnosis

Meghan Markle was left speechless after makeup mogul and medical advocate Victoria Jackson shared her traumatic experience of losing her 13-year-old daughter in 2008. In the latest episode of her Archetypes podcast, the Duchess of Sussex presented it as the “biggest challenge of all” for Ms. Jackson who “fought for her daughter’s life”. Eventually, her daughter died of an autoimmune disease, which led to her to start a foundation with her husband in a bid to find a cure for their daughter’s disease.

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When her daughter started complaining of a headache near her eye, Victoria Jackson said she first thought her daughter’s symptoms were benign – but they turned out to be much worse.

“It’s sort of like every parent’s worst nightmare all of a sudden, you know, you have a child who hasn’t even been sick and, you know, one day we’re out and about.

“And she starts telling me she has an eyeball headache and she’s starting to lose some vision.
“And I just think she has an eye infection and, you know: ‘we’ll go to the eye doctor tomorrow. Here take a Tylenol. You’ll be okay.’

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Ms Jackson described the time from the first symptoms to the diagnosis as “very horrible”.

“And that kind of very long horrible week from finding out that it wasn’t an eye infection, but an optic neuritis – which was an inflammation of her optic nerve – and going to see the neurologist and finding out after a blood test, for what would be a rare disease that she ultimately has.

“It’s used to be known as Devic’s Disease, neuromyelitis Optica, most people misdiagnosed with MS that have this.
“And they tell me that she has four years to live.”
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Meghan remained quiet after hearing the harrowing story.

Reacting to the tragic story in a voice note, Meghan Markle said she “Can’t even imagine as a mum hearing that your daughter has four years to live.

“Her daughter Ali was only 13 at the time of her diagnosis and the disease neuromyelitis Optica – or NMO as it’s often referred to – is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system and it can cause eye pain and vision loss as well as weakness, numbness, or paralysis in the arms and legs.”

The death of her daughter prompted Victoria and her husband, Bill Guthy, to start Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation to champion basic scientific research to find new treatments and ultimately a cure for NMO.

Victoria said: “Immediately in that moment, my life changed and I went, as I say from mascara to medicine, and I got myself to the Mayo Clinic and I met the only doctor at the time who was doing any research, which they said, was this very rare disease.”

Victoria continued: “So anyway, he was doing some research and I said: ‘Hey, you don’t know me, but I’ve a lot of cosmetics and hey, I make lip gloss’.

“I can cure this.”
After 10 years of reseach and clinical trials, Victoria Jackson’s foundation found three therapies in 2019, all approved for NMO.

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