Sketch­ing Life With A Rare Dis­ease

Forward Magazine - - Genetics - By Thea Glass­man

Mindy Indy sits in her apart­ment, head bent over a large piece of sketch pa­per, care­fully out­lin­ing a young boy’s glasses with her ink pen. She’s al­ready pen­ciled out the scene — two teens sit­ting on a porch, as the boy tries in earnest to ex­plain the symp­toms he ex­pe­ri­ences from fa­mil­ial dysau­tono­mia, a Jewish ge­netic dis­ease that af­fects the au­to­nomic and sen­sory ner­vous sys­tem. His com­pan­ion, a girl with a pony­tail, doesn’t seem to quite get it, and Indy labors over his re­ac­tion, try­ing to make sure his grit­ted teeth looks equal parts frus­trated and be­mused.

It takes the Man­hat­tan- based car­toon­ist a few hours to cre­ate the four panel sketch, “No Tears: Life With FD,” a comic ex­plor­ing the daily life chal­lenges of those af­flicted with fa­mil­ial dysau­tono­mia. Indy, who had no prior

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