As a child, Megan Shaw always fell. She bruised easily, seemed prone to accidents, and fainted a lot. As a teenager she discovered that she… Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects connective tissue. But at 23, she’s focusing on what she can do, not what she can’t.
Born in Scotland, she enjoys “wild” (in other words non-pool) swimming in nearby lochs (including Loch Ness) with friends and family. In the winter she wears a wetsuit, but she doesn’t have to wear a brace or tape in the cold water, which soothes her joints. Mountain hikes are also part of her routine, although her backpack comes with a hopper. She is also six months out of medical school and doing a vascular surgery rotation as a physician trainee (the equivalent of a US medical residency program). She wants to pursue a career as a pediatrician.
“Pediatrics is all about helping kids live with what they have,” she says. “It’s about getting their symptoms under control to a point where they can do the things they want to do.”
This is a philosophy that also drives her own approach to the disease she lives with.