Charleston, S.C – Inspired by the courage and commitment of a friend suffering from a largely unknown but
debilitating condition, a local group has come together to form the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation.
In the summer of 2000, Charleston native Ainsley Glenn was involved in a serious car wreck while working in
Washington, DC. The accident left Ainsley with a number of serious injuries, though she seemingly recovered
after a long convalescence. Three years ago, however, Ainsley’s body began to break down due to a number
of underlying issues that lingered on in the aftermath of the accident. She began to suffer from of an array of
symptoms which left her suffering from continuous pain. Her doctors were puzzled while Ainsley was often
exhausted and frustrated by what appeared to be mysterious illness.
For many years seemingly unrelated symptoms made a diagnosis by her physicians elusive. The Dysautonomia
diagnosis was given in 2013. This resulted in her extensive research and realization of the large number of
patients who wanted more information and medical care from physicians with knowledge of this diagnosis.
Individuals suffering from Dysautonomia experience a collapse of their involuntary nervous system. Instead of
regulating the vital functions of the nervous system, the body essentially turns on itself. Racing heart, sweaty
palms, dry mouth, upset stomach, shakiness are just some of the conditions victims of Dysautonomia suffer
from on an unceasing basis.
Instead of allowing this diagnosis to overwhelm her, Ainsley saw it as an opportunity to not only work towards
medical relief of – and even a possible cure for – Dysautnomia. Attacking the illness as hard as it had attacked
her, Ainsley began to reach out to friends and family to help her in her struggle. She also established a
Facebook page to spread awareness and serve as a forum for others who may have been suffering from this
condition in silence. The response was overwhelming. A little more than two months after it was created, the
“Dysautonomia Foundation” page is fast approaching 7,000 “likes.”
Ainsley’s friends were quick to rally to her cause as well, and twelve of her strongest supporters recently
volunteered to form the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation (DAF) under her guidance.
The DAF Board is comprised of:
Sarah Glenn Smith, President
Richard Geer, Vice President
Bratton Riley, Treasurer
Hayden McIntosh Geer, Secretary
Mary Hart Craig
Lori Christopher Glenn
David K. Shimp
Given that October is “Dysautonomia Awareness month” the newly formed all-volunteer board quickly set a
team goal to raise $25,000 by the end of the month towards its mission. The group’s fundraising efforts will be
highlighted by two campaigns:
– The Tie One On” promotion in which individuals can purchase one of three specially-designed rope
bracelets to show their support. Bracelets are available through the following web site:
– The Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation’s Launch Party at the Midtown Bar & Grill in Downtown
Charleston on October 29th
For more information on the Dysautnomia Advocacy Foundation, please visit:
. Tickets for the party are available for advance purchase at:
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