Mickey Melba Autoimmune Research Foundation
The Mickey Melba Autoimmune Research Foundation has been developed to advance efforts of raising awareness and preventing misdiagnosis for people living with an autoimmune disorder.
Connecting the main impetus of this driving force is attributed to Mickey Melba Young-McMiller. Mickey peacefully went to sleep on March 5, 2023, transitioning at the young age of 17. Mickey had a variation of multiple autoimmune disorders which is extremely rare. Her battle with autoimmunity began at the age of 8 years old. Mickey had been in and out of hospitals and specialty clinics due to the ongoing misdiagnosis conveyed to Mickey's mother Dr. Erica Young-Jackson.
From cancer testing to spinal taps, genetic testing, biopsies and many more invasive procedures that Mickey had to endure, their goal was that other young children would not have to go through years of chronic pain and racial disparities in health care.
Being so frustrated with the health care system, at the age of 13, after many unclear diagnoses and a lack of provided pain management, Mickey began to research her own Eastern and Natural Herb remedies. However, Mickey never complained nor let these unfortunate circumstances hinder her progress.
Not only did Mickey graduate high school early at the age of 16, at 17 years old she began the Veterinary program at Carrington College in Phoenix, AZ. Mickey was also selected for a paid internship at the Banfield Pet Hospital NextVet Internship Program. Mickey loved animals and her therapy dog Aparri.
Mickey was a bright light of support for many and loved every person she encountered, from Dutch Bros customers to veterinary school classmates, friends, and family. Mickey lived life at an accelerated pace knowing that her body was failing her daily, but she always saw the bright side of everything.
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Dr. Erica Young-Jackson