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  1. DINET member name: Katie Haynes Katie's hometown: Youngsville, NC Diagnosis: POTS, EDS, MCAS, AMPS (Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome), IBS, Alopecia Photography: https://www.facebook.com/KatieHaynesPhotography/ Smiling While Sending Hope: https://www.facebook.com/Smiling-While-Sending-Hope-561096004224670/ VOG project: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Smiling-While-Sending-Hope-561096004224670/photos/?tab=album&album_id=563489880651949 Cambridge Mask project: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Smiling-While-Sending-Hope-561096004224670/photos/?tab=album&album_id=589899214677682 In Katie's words... A little bit about me: I’m 18 years old and I have POTS, EDS Type 3 and MCAS.and a few other illnesses. I love photography and started my own photography business. I also love sports, shooting, hunting, showing rabbits, crabbing and graphic design. But my mission in life is to help other people. Helping others has been a big mission my whole life, even before getting sick, to make an impact on people’s lives. I believe I do that by organizing toy drives, making comfort packages for local children’s hospitals, making awareness videos and my VOG and Cambridge Mask projects. Making an impact on others lives is what I love to do. I believe that this mission will continue to grow and continue to help many others in the near future! Katie’s joy….. I love to bring joy to kids and teens faces and make them feel at ease while they face big obstacles in their lives whether that be chemo, a transplant, or some other health challenges. I have done this project of toy drives on my own now for about 5 years. I also have sponsored local families in need of certain items. Along with that, in December of 2017, I launched a project where I send comfort packages and masks to people fighting chronic illness. I also created a facebook page to help grow my project in January of 2018. I also give out packages and/or masks to the teens that I meet in the area and at the hospitals. This is my main long-term goal; to grow this and make it bigger each year. I find people’s stories that speak to me and share them in groups that I’m a part of. And I send masks or packages to as many people as possible. Due to cost, I keep the packages that I give out mostly local, but I have mailed many masks and will continue to do so as funding allows. I also keep it local because I like to meet each of the warriors in person and spend some time with them. What inspires Katie….. I was inspired to start this to get involved about 7 years ago when Paxton, a little boy at my church, passed away. Not long after his passing, I helped with a toy drive called "Presents for Paxton" for UNC Hospital. A few years later, I went camping and met a girl named Skyla Rippy who has a rare blood disorder called Diamond Black-Fan Anemia. We got to know each other very well, and now we are very good friends. When I found out that she was receiving care at hospital local to me, I started going with her to her appointments and began to do research on childhood illnesses/cancer. I then started workshops and presentations to share with others about what I had learned. I also became friends with kids I would meet at the hospital on social media and in real life.
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