Yolanda Knight curled up in her bedroom in a house nestled on a tree-lined street. She had the riches and conveniences of the 21st century, but she was looking for better health.
As a child in Hazlet, New Jersey, and later in Florida, Yolanda was often sick. Even a simple cold caught from a classmate would leave her so ill that she had to be immersed in painful, icy baths. In her room, curled up in feverish agony and cooled by an overhead fan, the idea of health seemed far away.
To read about her courageous journey and how she and her family struggled to find answers, be sure to check out Yolanda’s Story, in her own words.
Her journey with illness continued. In the ninth grade, Yolanda caught mononucleosis and her spleen and liver ballooned. Wracked with pain, she stayed in bed and sometimes had to be carried the few steps into another room.
As every illness weakened her and caused her pain, finding health seemed a remote possibility. And it was becoming clear that Yolanda needed a better map. She visited many doctors and specialists with her parents trying to find out what was wrong, but she was given treatment for the immediate symptoms or illness. What she needed was a way to treat what was causing all the illnesses and symptoms in the first place. Yolanda was persistent, knowing that she had to persevere, just like the stories in her childhood books.
To find out more about how Yolanda faced her illness head-on, listen to the three-part podcast where Yolanda and her family discuss her early experiences with chronic illness.
Yolanda finally received some answers after graduating from high school. She was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis and had an appointment with the head of Rheumatology/Internal Medicine Department at Shands University Hospital. Dr. Hanno Richards looked over Yolanda’s records and listened to her. The diagnosis – Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder – was frightening, but also liberating. Yolanda now knew that her experiences weren’t a series of unrelated illnesses. There was an underlying cause and now she knew how to prospect and dig deeper to find health.
Armed with the correct diagnosis, Yolanda still had a long road ahead of her. She moved to Georgia, where she met her future husband Matthew. But she still struggled with weakness, bone calcification, low white blood cell counts, and a host of other issues. Some mornings, she struggled to get to her job at a Hematology/Oncology office.
She’d make it to her front door, though, and she’d say “no” to what was holding her back. She met men and women in the Hematology/Oncology office who struggled with terminal and severe illnesses. Hearing their stories and drawing on her own well of positivity, Yolanda put one foot in front of the other and made it to the office, to dates with Matthew, and to lunches with her aunt.
Desperate to find the health that eluded her and that others seemed to enjoy without any effort, Yolanda moved back to Florida to see her previous doctors at Shand's University Hospital. Eventually, she decided to see rheumatologist Dr. Brian McKnight, desperate to get better.
“We’ll just take it one step at a time,” Dr. McKnight told her.
Dr. McKnight admitted that he was nervous about treating Yolanda because she had so many complicated medical issues, but he was willing to help her navigate the journey. Unlike others, he believed in looking at what lay underneath the series of illnesses.
Would you like to hear more insights from Dr. McKnight and Yolanda about health and wellness? Listen to their podcast describing their deep dive to help treat Yolanda.
It should have been a U-turn to a better life, but instead Yolanda was plunged into even deeper pain. In 2010, she developed hip pain so anguishing that it eclipsed every other discomfort she had ever experienced. Stunned by the knife-sharp pain, Yolanda struggled to move and wept at night, unable to sleep because every movement jarred her.
Both Yolanda’s Uncle John and her old friend Kat recommended holistic remedies. Yolanda was open to trying anything that might help, and added clean eating, Serrapeptase, Omega 3, Methylsulfonylmethane, and Electro-Therapeutic Point Stimulation to the treatments she was getting from Dr. McKnight. Within six weeks, the aches that had clenched tight around her life slowly released their grip and eventually Yolanda was able to reduce the line of medications that stood sentinel in her medicine cabinet.
“Being positive is half the battle,” Yolanda says.
The other half of the path included finding the right doctors and a combination of treatments to get better. Today, Yolanda feels stronger than ever and is vigilant about her health – and her husband’s health. Now that she has tapped deep into the vein of health in her body, she is never letting it go.
Would you like to learn more about Yolanda’s brave road to recovery? Read her story in her own words or listen to the series of podcasts. Whether you’re struggling on the road to recovery yourself or want inspiration to create your most abundant health, Yolanda would be honored if her story inspired part of your journey.