In February 2008, at age fourteen, Ali Guthy was diagnosed with NMO after she started experiencing pain and vision loss in her left eye. At the time, there was very little known about this rare autoimmune neurological condition that affects the optic nerve and the spinal cord. Despite the dire prognosis of having only six years to live, Ali refused to allow her condition to control her life and resolved to not only manage her symptoms and survive, but also to find a way to thrive in every aspect of her life. In just a few years, she and her parents have helped advance the understanding of NMO for physicians around the world and have raised awareness for other patients to get the help that they need.
Following Ali’s diagnosis, Ali’s parents, Victoria Jackson and Bill Guthy, chose to take swift action by creating the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation, which has now become a global community dedicated to better understanding of the disease, discovering therapies, and ultimately finding a cure for NMO. Since its inception, the foundation has brought together brilliant minds from 25 countries to galvanize research and has already produced new treatment options for improving and saving the lives of patients. Ali and her mother have become the leading voices for NMO awareness and advocacy and have co-authored, Saving Each Other – A Mother-Daughter Love Story, a book that puts the spotlight on NMO and what needs to be done to find a cure..
Ali graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015 and now works for a the popular California-based Internet website and app.