Norma Judd is one in a million.
For the past five-and-a-half years the 82-year-old Wagga woman has been battling a rare disease known as 'Stiff Person Syndrome'. It is estimated to effect only one or two in every million.
"I started having spasms in my legs. They were always at night, it'd wake me," Mrs Judd said.
"If you tried to move, it would take off again. Each one lasted two or three minutes. I learnt just to sit there and wait until it stopped."
After scores of muscle relaxant medication failed to quell the night traumas, Mrs Judd's son took her to see a specialist in North Sydney.
Blood tests and muscle biopsies ensued over the next six months until Mrs Judd was finally given a diagnosis.
"I'd never heard of it before. No-one ever has. I tell people I've got a disease of the muscles, it's easier. Otherwise people don't understand what Stiff Person Syndrome is," Mrs Judd said.
"Where it came from I have no idea, no-one can tell me why I got it."
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There is no cure for the syndrome, but monthly intravenous infusions and routine medications have proven effective.
"Some people have it ten times worse than I do. Mine just affects the waist down, some people have spasms all over their body. Some are bed ridden," Mrs Judd said.
"I don't have the spasms any more [but] I can't stand straight too well. I don't know what would happen if I stopped the treatment. I don't want to find out."
Each year, on the last day of February, Mrs Judd counts her blessings and joins the Rare Disease Day awareness campaign, bringing attention to the suffering of many around the world who live with little-known conditions.
But regardless of what day it is, Mrs Judd remains thankful her condition is not worse.
Only after Mrs Judd had hip surgery last year due to an unrelated injury, did the spasms return momentarily.
"I thought, 'oh no, it's back again', but it only lasted a day," she said.
"The only thing I have now is stiffness in my thigh muscles. I wish I could walk faster too."
To keep the spasms completely at bay, Mrs Judd must attend a hospital every four weeks for a three hour treatment.
"It can stop me doing things sometimes, I've had to watch what I'm doing with COVID. I wanted to go on holiday to Victoria - my family lives there - but I didn't know if I could come back for my treatment at Calvary," she said.
"That's always been the fly in the ointment with going anywhere. I've got to be back for the treatment."
Though barring the regular appointments, Mrs Judd is single-minded. The syndrome will not stop her from experiencing all life has to offer.
"Soon after my diagnosis I went to Scotland and climbed all the steps in a lighthouse. I sent a picture back to my doctor," Mrs Judd said.
"I've got a lot of determination and I was determined to get up that ladder."
Even amid the ongoing pandemic, she is still planning her next adventure.
"In the springtime, my friend and I will go to Kangaroo Island, but [I don't want] to take my walker. I've been getting up and walking 10 laps of my backyard every day to get my circulation going so I don't need it," she said.
"Most of the time I walk with the stick now, I don't need the walker."
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