“I have a rare condition called mast cell activation syndrome,” says Natasha. “When a nettle sting causes an itchy raised bump, it’s due to histamine, a chemical that comes from mast cells. In my body, these mast cells are hypersensitive.”
From childhood, the young woman began to notice strange symptoms: allergies to various foods, very frequent feeling of weakness, … But it was indeed when she was 18 that things got worse. “I was attending a big public event when I was suddenly seized with tremors, dizziness and difficulty breathing,” she continues. “I was taken to the hospital with a police escort”. Over the two weeks following this hospitalization, Natasha will return to the emergency room no less than eight times.
For two years, the doctors search before being able to diagnose this syndrome. Since then, Natasha’s daily life has been turned upside down. “When you’re spending an evening with friends and you go into anaphylactic shock just because you laughed too much, it really takes a toll on the evening,” she says.
Despite this, Natasha does not give up and tries to continue to enjoy life as much as she can. Sport has been a great help for this. “Gymnastics saved my life – not only physically, but also mentally,” she concludes. “I can go to the gym and focus on that. Allergic reactions will happen anyway, even if I sit at home doing nothing, so might as well enjoy life.”