While many of us take tucking into our favourite meal for
granted, one teen can barely manage a biscuit a day – and it’s not out of
Rose Kelble suffers from several conditions, including
Ehlers-Danlos and mast cell activation syndrome.
The teen from Stevensville in Maryland, USA, also lives with
gastroparesis and median arcuate ligament syndrome and all these illnesses
combined has caused her body to reject any food or beverage she consumes.
Rose is now forced to stay hooked to a feeding tube as her
only source of nutrition.
“Every day is a battle. I wake up ready to fight for my life
back like I did the day before,” the strong-willed teen says.
For the past two years she’s opted for a single Graham
cracker every day as it was the only food she could properly digest.
But now even the 60-calorie square biscuit has become a
no-no because it makes her vomit.
“It often bothers me that I can’t enjoy the foods everyone
around me eats freely.”
Rose also battles joint dislocation, bruising, physical weakness,
nausea and depression daily, which has forced her to put her life on hold.
After her symptoms worsened in 2016 due to contracting a
virus, Rose missed most of her final year at high school and couldn’t study
further or find a job after graduation.
“Due to limited abilities I’m unable to work, drive, eat,
shower or even walk on my own.
“It’s hard to maintain many friendships due to the fact that
everyone else’s lives are progressing and mine is on pause until I get better.”
She credits her partner, Molly (18), for being her main
source of motivation to stay positive.
“When 5pm rolls around my girlfriend comes home and it’s
like there’s a small patch of light in my dark. I can go to the store with her
and it’s the most exciting thing in the world.
“I do everything in my power to maintain a positive outlook
and Molly is my main source of positivity and happiness.”
To treat her conditions Rose takes more than a dozen
medications and is receiving physical therapy.
“Throughout my medical journey I’ve tried countless
treatments. My current ones are heavy duty medications, two litres of IV fluids
every day, tube feedings and physical therapy.
“I take about eight pills twice a day and four in the middle
of the day. My physical therapy is progressing slowly due to how poor my
condition is. It’s going to take years to see progress.”
Despite the limitations her health places on her physically,
the 18-year-old has big dreams.
She wants to become a psychologist or translator.
“I plan on going to college once I get better. Before my
illnesses put me out of school I was intense about school and keeping up my
“I don’t have much of a life right now, but [taking care of
myself] is what I have to do for the moment.”