Inna, Russia

“I was 26 when my symptoms started and 33 before I was diagnosed with Pompe disease. Knowing what was wrong allowed me to learn how to enjoy every day of my life.”

I was a successful, 26-year-old woman living life on the go. Around this time, I started feeling like I had weights on my legs, and my body was heavy. I had difficulty getting in and out of the driver’s seat. I put it down to my change in lifestyle-perhaps I had put on weight. It never occurred to me that I was unwell. I thought it was normal and altered my lifestyle in an effort to make things better. I switched to a healthier diet and started exercising. However, by the time I was 31, I couldn’t stand up from a chair without using my hands or climb stairs without support. As well as the weakness, I was out of breath and my heart was pounding. I was literally gasping for breath going upstairs. Still, I made excuses to my family, I had gained weight and my body was recovering after I quit smoking. 

I finally acknowledged that I needed medical help when I was 33. My daughter and I went on a trip together. I fell while trying to board a bus and two strangers had to help me up. I can’t describe that humiliating feeling of helplessness. Eventually, after a long series of tests, I was diagnosed with late-onset Pompe disease. I felt relieved to finally have an explanation for my condition. At first, my relatives found my diagnosis hard to accept, especially my partner. Nevertheless, our relationship grew stronger. He proposed to me, and shortly after we were married. 

Despite the limitations of Pompe disease, I continue to work and live my life as normally as I possibly can. I have a new hobby knitting soft toys, which I like to call “yoga for the brain”, because it’s so calming. I consider myself lucky to have found doctors who were able to diagnosis a rare disease. I am grateful for my life and for my family.

  • Find out more about Pompe disease here

Mobile Clinics, Algeria

The deployment of mobile clinics allows patients in remote areas without medical specialists to access screening, specialized consultations and to be included in a healthcare system.

Charlie, Hong Kong

“After my diagnosis with atopic dermatitis I thought the condition would limit me in my ability to pursue my dreams. But Sanofi’s AD Awareness Campaign showed me that not only can I pursue my dreams, I can even encourage others to pursue theirs!”

Daw Tint, Myanmar

“Before my diagnosis, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. My mood became irritated, I became aggressive, not satisfied with myself.”

Tetote Call Center, Japan

Our first mission in rare diseases is to bring hope. Providing information on lysosomal storage disorders to healthcare professionals, patients and their families is a key part of this mission, to contribute to the early diagnosis of these diseases.

Mykhailo, Ukraine

“I simply believed that I had a future ahead, and nothing could shake my faith. I am very grateful to socially responsible businesses that take care of patients when the state is not able to.”