Positive attitude boosts Texoma woman with rare diseases - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Positive attitude boosts Texoma woman with rare diseases

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Sue Kibby of Sherman suffers from two rare diseases. (KTEN) Sue Kibby of Sherman suffers from two rare diseases. (KTEN)
Tara Williams sells T-shirts to raise money for her SMAS non-profit. (KTEN) Tara Williams sells T-shirts to raise money for her SMAS non-profit. (KTEN)
Tara Williams, right, is part of the support system for Sue Kibby. (KTEN) Tara Williams, right, is part of the support system for Sue Kibby. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- You can't tell by her smile, but Sue Kibby suffers from two very rare diseases that have no cure.

"One called gastroparesis, which is a paralysis of the stomach; and the other is superior mesenteric artery syndrome," she explained.

Kibby said the syndrome causes two arteries near the stomach to come together, arteries that are usually separated by a fat pad. She said people with SMAS have lost that fat pad, which puts pressure on part of the small intestine.

"Which is causing food to back up and not go through, which causes us to be malnourished very severe nausea, vomiting, feeling full very fast and losing a lot of weight," Kibby said.

But what makes her unique is not her health; she takes the time to make things like blankets and tube pads to help others with the same medical issues.

"I don't make a profit off of this; I do it because it makes people happy," she said, adding that her support system and faith are what keep her going.

"I have bad days every day," Kibby said. "I don't have good days, but inside I feel good in my heart  because of my faith."

Tara Williams of Bonham is a part of that support system.

"I basically run the SMAS non-profit, so my job is to reach out to people like sue," she said.

Williams got involved after her mom was diagnosed with SMAS.

"Watching her go from 180 pounds to 102 pounds... watching her at my brother's wedding throwing up and her skin was gray," she recalled. "My daughter's named after a girl that passed away from this."

Williams raises money through T-shirt sales and fundraisers.  "I don't want to see people like me lose their mom," she said.

Sue Kibby said although she's met people like Williams and others who share her condition, she has a message for those she hasn't met:

"You just have to fight, because if you quit fighting, you lose."