Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Teen and mom fundraise for dysautonomia

(ROCKWALL, TX—October 26, 2017) Local Rockwall High School senior Regan Watson and her mom Nicole are making noise for turquoise during October, National Dysautonomia Awareness Month. On Tuesday, Oct. 24, they hosted a fundraiser at Joe Willy’s in Rockwall for Dysautonomia International, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about POTS and other similar conditions.

After a five-year journey to her diagnosis with a type of dysautonomia called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, Regan is determined to encourage better research and funding for a disease that is widespread among teenagers, but a mystery to most doctors.

Symptoms of POTS include a heart rate increase of 30 beats per minute or more from simply standing up, irregular blood pressure, and chronic fatigue. It can be just as debilitating as congestive heart failure.

An estimated 1-3 million Americans live with POTS, making it more common than multiple sclerosis. However, according to Dysautonomia International this disease receives less than $700,000 per year in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding, while other diseases receive hundreds of millions.

All tips and 10% of register sales during the Joe Willy’s fundraiser night benefitted Dysautonomia International, who will use the money to directly fund research grants.

Nicole Watson said she is still waiting to find out the total funds raised, but $300 came from the tip jars alone.

“Regan and I were very thankful to have so many people, friends and teachers, come out to show their support and to donate to Dysautonomia International,” Watson said. “There is nothing more uplifting when you are dealing with life’s storms than to have someone show they care.”

While their own experience with finding the cause of Regan’s symptoms and the right type of medicine to treat them has been draining, the Watsons hope they can help other families by shedding light on this “invisible illness”—literally.

The Bank of America Building, a landmark in the Dallas skyline, will light up turquoise on Saturday, Oct. 28 in support of Dysautonomia Awareness Month. Dysautonomia International is hosting a fundraiser at nearby Enchilada’s Restaurant from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., where guests will enjoy views of the Bank of America Building shining turquoise.

“It’s humbling to take part in an international event to light buildings to raise awareness for a cause that is so close to my heart,” Watson said. “We want to take our lemons and make lemonade. We hope to raise much needed awareness for dysautonomia and in turn funding for research that is so lacking.”

Watson said her family will arrive at the restaurant at 6 p.m., and will step outside to take group photos with the Bank of America Building behind them when it gets dark around 7:30 p.m.

“We are asking everyone to wear something turquoise if you can so we can #MakeNoiseForTurquoise,” Watson said. “Please invite your friends and family so we can raise as much awareness as possible.”

To learn more about Dysautonomia, visit www.dysautonomiainternational.org.

To read about Regan and Nicole Watson lobbying for POTS awareness on Capitol Hill, read our story at www.blueribbonnews.com/2017/08/teen-takes-pots-awareness-to-capitol-hill/.

By Julie Anne Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Photo by Austin Wells.

Our monthly print edition is delivered free to 19,000+ homes in Rockwall and Heath, TX.

To share your good news and events, email .

Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Advertising: 214-342-8000 or .