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El Camino Hospital Los Gatos Campus

Bonnie's Story: Immunodeficiency Disorder

Seven visits to the hospital within a year is a good year for Bonnie. Growing up, colds and infections were a normal part of life for Bonnie. She was told that being sick and emotional was common for females. The week before her 40th birthday, Bonnie was diagnosed with an immunodeficiency disorder that weakens the immune system and allows infections and other health issues to occur more easily. It turned out there was a genetic immunodeficiency that ran in her family.
Bonnie has been from hospital to hospital as a result of living with this disorder and calls herself a “frequent flyer” at El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos.  She is usually treated with intravenous antibiotics, which helps her to recover from serious infections and helps prevent her from getting other serious infections. Bonnie says, “I like what I have seen. El Camino Hospital is actively doing things to help me get better quickly.”
Despite the number of treatments and hospital visits, Bonnie continuously strives to live life to the fullest. She says that her immunodeficiency disorder does not limit her ability to do things with her children, help her husband with his business or organize educational conferences for others living with the disease. In her free time, Bonnie tries to remain busy and enjoys painting and needlework.
At age 72, Bonnie currently serves as the president of the Immune Deficiency Foundation’s Northern California Chapter. “To me, it is a passion” she said about the local chapter she helped start “This is the 25th anniversary of the Northern California Chapter and my 25th year as well.” Bonnie adds that it’s rewarding when she can talk to others who are also going through the same situation.
Her advice to others is “to have control, as much control as you can with your body and your mind.” Bonnie’s positive attitude and desire to remain active and involved despite her condition are admirable traits and ones that are inspiring to others as well.