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Maynard Johnson

Myasthenia Gravis Community Advocate Maynard JohnsonMaynard was previously an advocate on

I'm Maynard Johnson, a self-employed manufacturer’s representative for many different companies. I am also a 50-plus year student of myasthenia gravis (MG). As many of you will find, you never graduate from learning about your illness. From day 1 of my diagnosis, I have denied I even have it. Just my way of dealing with it.

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I was misdiagnosed in grade school, had eye muscle surgery, and was told I was mentally lazy. I was even accused of being under the influence in high school due to my drooping eyelids. I will never forget that teacher giving a lecture on smoking marijuana and staring at me the whole time.

I dropped out of engineering school due to my inability to keep up with the reading. I was finally diagnosed in my early 20s and went through a lot for over 5 years which helped me understand what I had been through and where I was going. It was nice to finally understand why I saw 2 baseballs coming at me or 2 bowling lanes when playing sports - which obviously, I was not good at. I was the last guy picked for the team.

I developed the ability to learn anything using my visual tools and often think about the video tools used in schools today that would have made my life quite different. Hey, seeing double can make you learn twice as fast you know! Don’t we wish?

I have a wife and daughter, I enjoy photography, kayaking, building projects (just finished a greenhouse), travel, and anything I can learn. You don’t have to finish things in 5 minutes. Take your time, know your limitations but don’t give in to the big MG.

Challenge yourself each day even if it’s a little bit. Time to take my Mestinon. Yes, I still see double when looking at a page.

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