Volunteer Spotlight: Breanna

It’s National Volunteer Week! Today we’re shining a light on Breanna by sharing her story and experience with you.

IMG_0004Hello, my name is Breanna Larsen and I am a twenty-two year old native Texan who loves spending time with my family and friends, going on adventures, playing with my puppies and trying to spread a little sparkle everywhere I go.

I was introduced to Mal de Debarquement Syndrome by my friend Summer. When I was in high school with Summer, we volunteered to help with a MdDS event that her aunt, Terri, was hosting. After that event, I became Facebook friends with Terri and saw through her posts what life with MdDS is like. She introduced me, and all of her other Facebook friends, to what life is like with MdDS and the struggles and challenges people with MdDS have.

As I grew older and matured as a person and with my own experience with diabetes, I felt more compelled to raise awareness for other chronic syndromes, illness and diseases. After working as a Communications intern for a non-profit association and graduating with my Bachelors from the University of Houston, I decided to ask Terri to help with my interview skills, critique my resumé and overall give me some pointers about the professional world in which I was about to embark.

Terri offered fantastic advice and during one of our meetings, she suggested that I might volunteer with the MdDS Foundation volunteer group, to improve my non-profit professional skill set as well as gain new experiences and insights working with a new group of people.

During my time as a volunteer with the MdDS Foundation, I shared social media posts about MdDS and advocated for the rise in awareness and monetary support for those with MdDS. I also collected a list of the top renowned physicians in the United States and sent them letters advocating for them to join in deeper research of MdDS as well as make them aware of the support system that the MdDS Foundation provides to everyone affected by MdDS. My time spent volunteering with the MdDS Foundation’s group of volunteers taught me valuable lessons in philanthropic activities and professional endeavors.

Since I volunteered with the MdDS Foundation, I have accepted an inside sales position at Medtronic Diabetes, a medical device manufacturing and distribution company. I directly work with our diabetes patients and help them transition onto insulin pump therapy. My time volunteering with the Foundation has helped me immensely in my current career interacting with people with chronic diseases.

Please join us in thanking Breanna for being such a great volunteer. Share this spotlight with the buttons below.

Looking for Volunteer Opportunities? From social media to healthcare provider outreach, we’ve got lots of opportunities to explore. We’re waiting to hear from you!


Discussion Policy
  1. Hello.
    I am a Japanese blogger.
    I comment for the first time to the foreign countries.
    I cannot write an English sentence.
    I write this by translation software.

    The symptom of Mdd resembles my symptom. symptom is similar.
    The cause of my symptom was cerebrospinal fluid hypovolemia.
    my blog →http://mynou.info/unidentified-symptom
    The title of the blog is “RIKABA ~ the recovery of my cerebrospinal fluid hypovolemia”

  2. anica

    Hi Dawn
    Did u have brain fog with ur symptoms how r u feeling now? Do u take meds b4 u travel fly longer car rides etc
    Hope u r well

  3. Andy Mobberley

    inspiring i realise now that I have the same condition. I have been to many gps (i live in the uk). and have just gone to a dizzy care clinic where he also says I have MdDS. I have been rocking for years and not being able to stand for long times . then in April I could not get out of bed and the room was bouncing and me also .Very frightening I was DX with Vestibule Neuritis. lots of medications but all to no avail. My only relief is driving my car. I am currently undergoing Retraining of my brain to get myself steady with the dizzy clinic . it is the first time in all the health visits i have had that some one has said what I really have . I may go to a Acupuncture clinic as it really is worth a try . I am so fed up of living this life of fear of falling especially living on my own ..

  4. Dawne Samson

    After returning home from a 7 day cruise in May of 2016, I was suffering once again from what is known as MdDS, Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. I called it EXTREME vertigo on a roller coaster. I knew that I just could not deal with this horrible syndrome again, so I sought out help from Dr. James K. Tang, Chinese Acupuncturist in Arlington Texas. He helped me where no other doctor would or could. Upon my first visit with Dr. Tang, I walked into his office as if I was drunk, holding onto the walls/furniture for balance. He did electro-acupuncture for dizziness/balance. After that visit I walked out without having to hold on to the walls/furniture, still a bit dizzy, but nothing like I first walked in. After my second visit my world completely was back to normal! The swaying, bobbing was completely gone. I went back two more time to make sure that the treatment stuck. I was not taking any chances of the symptoms coming back!
    Previously, last year, I had suffered a severed balance disordered for about 5 months back in May 2015. It began once I returned home from a from a 4 day cruise. I sought help from my primary care, VA doctor, ENT doctor and one other MD. They all just shrugged their shoulders, said that they never heard of the problems I was experiencing and ignored my complaints. I was practically on my own with this. I also saw my chiropractor, at least he tried. But I continued swaying side to side and bobbing back and forth. Other problems were that I could not watch TV or looked at a computer screen for more than 5 minutes. Reading was even worse. Everything in front of me would start swaying or bobbing, it was horrible. The only remedy that would help, as crazy as it may sound … was to drive my car! For months I had researched my symptoms and everything I read pointed to MdDS. After about five months of suffering with these nauseating symptoms it finally subsided. Was it due to the chiropractor helping me? Maybe, but I can not say for sure. Everything I had read told me to stay away from boats of any kind, flying, elevators, escalators or even going to the beach. Well as you can see, I didn’t listen. From now on before I go on vacation I will preset an appointment with Dr. Tang for when I return from vacationing near water, flying or anything that starts my world swaying or bobbing.

    I am so glad this helped me. Just wanted to share my story. Dr Tang made no promises when I first met him. He is just a very humble doctor from China who was able to help me.

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