Zebras have a story and this is a story about Jess!

This is a short story about Jessica Brunner, from New Milford, NJ. And my favorite part is the ending. So stay tuned.

Jess has been sick with ear, sinus and bronchial infections, strep, cellulitis and pneumonia since she was a baby. She was finally diagnosed in 2010 and started IVig soon after. She has done both IVig and SCig.

Her Mom is her advocate and her best friend. Other family members are not as supportive- often making negative comments. Many Zebras deal with this – not everyone understands that ‘you don’t look sick’ doesn’t correlate with how you are feeling.

In addition to PI- Jess deals with other conditions: migraines, asthma, hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, diabetes, IBS, herniated lumbar discs, trigrminal neuralgia, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, endometriosis, depression and anxiety.  While that may seem like a lot – it’s actually common for Zebras to have multiple comorbidities. She has already had 3 sinus surgeries.

Her challenges are joint pain,fatigue, depression and anxiety. Jess works hard to find balance between her energy levels and her schedule.

Her schedule is that Jess works as an EMT! She has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy ( wish she lived closer because PT is what keeps me going). She loves helping people while working as an EMT- so she and her Doctor have worked together to find a balance between helping others while keeping herself safe from disease and infections. She wears a mask while working.

Jess feels strongly that you have to find the balance that works best for you. Everyone will have a different approach to this. She prioritizes tasks so that she can get done in the time that she has energy.

Jess has learned quite a bit about living with Primary Immunodeficiency.

1) Doctor don’t know everything and the best will tell you that.

2) Doctors work for you. If they are not getting results – you can fire them.

3) Compassion and empathy go a long way.

4) Listen to your body. ( I believe many of us don’t pay attention to this very important detail)

5) Don’t be afraid to fight for what works best for you.

These are WISE WORDS from Jess.

Now, we can ALL wish Jessica HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week!

Thanks for letting me tell your story.






  • Lisa Churinskas-Hulit Posted April 20, 2018 2:08 am

    Way to go, Jess!

  • Laurie Posted April 20, 2018 6:42 am

    WTG Jess!!!!!

  • Deb Posted April 21, 2018 12:13 am

    Thanks you for sharing your story Jess.

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