Charcot Marie Tooth Disease – An Inspiring Story by Diane Gracely

Diane Gracely the founder of Hippie Paradise has Charcot Marie Tooth disease. A hereditary neuromuscular disease with no cure. Also Diane was hit by a drunk driver on April 13, 2015. Diane Gracely shares her inspiring story below. Learn more about Charcot Marie Tooth disease. Read how Diane created home businesses to earn an income after becoming disabled.

Charcot Marie Tooth

Meet Diane Gracely

charcot marie tooth

Diane has Charcot Marie Tooth disease.

drunk driver

Diane was hit by a drunk driver in April 2015.

Read on to learn more about Diane and CMT disease

Diane was born with Charcot Marie Tooth disease. Diane was diagnosed with CMT type 2.  CMT is a neuromuscular disease that deforms the feet. It also causes peripheral neuropathy, chronic pain, and severe muscle spasms.

Charcot Marie Tooth disease has nothing to do with the teeth. CMT got it’s name from the three doctors who discovered the disease. Dr Charcot, Dr Marie, and Dr Tooth. CMT deformed Diane’s feet so bad that it put her in a wheelchair by age 32. Diane found a surgeon in Hershey Pennsylvania that knew a lot about CMT. He told Diane he could reconstruct her feet and get her walking again. Diane opted for the surgeries. Over a 3 year period (1996 – 1999) Diane had 2 surgeries on each foot. Then she had to learn to walk again.

CMT caused scoliosis and degenerative disc disease. Diane has many herniated discs and bulging discs in her neck and back. Some caused by falling often over the years due to poor balance caused by the disease.

Then in April 2015 Diane was hit head on by a drunk driver. The accident caused more herniated and bulging discs in her neck and back. Diane had a neck fusion surgery on November 9th 2016. They fused 4 levels to repair the herniated discs and an annular tear in her neck from the accident.

Charcot Marie Tooth

She has coped with chronic pain since she was 5 years old. Diane is now 52 years old.

Diane also has Fibrous Dysplasia of the Temporal Bone. This causes swelling of her eyes and nose every night while sleeping. She wakes up every morning with a swollen face.

fibrous dysplasia

Diane’s Swollen Face

Diane has to have surgery on her temporal bone after she recovers from her neck fusion surgery. Then the doctors want to look at the herniated discs and scoliosis in her back and she is most likely facing MORE SURGERIES for her back. Diane has a long road ahead of surgeries and recovery.

But Diane is a SURVIVOR

Her motto has always been “NEVER GIVE UP”. Diane is an inspiration to many. Diane has a heart of gold. She loves to INSPIRE and help others with disabilities.

After becoming disabled Diane was forced to find ways to earn extra income. Diane used her crafts and hobbies to create home businesses.

In 2006 Diane created a Golf Business called “Kewl Tubes”. Diane designed knit golf club head covers with pom pom tops for thousands of golfers around the world for 5 years. Diane won awards for her business success. She was interviewed by several business magazines and local newspapers. Her business success story was published. Finally a local news station interviewed Diane for a TV news story.

Kewl Tubes Award

Kewl Tubes

Diane SOLD Kewl Tubes in 2011 for a nice profit.

Diane’s health decreased and she could not keep up with orders for her custom golf club covers. So she sold Kewl Tubes in 2011 for a $50,000 profit.

She then moved on to create a business called Bikers Buzz. A business to help bikers injured in motorcycle accidents. Diane eventually SOLD Bikers Buzz. In January 2016 Diane created her business “Hippie Paradise”.  She designs and sells ONE – OF – A – KIND hippie wind chimes and suncatchers to earn additional income.

Diane copes with chronic pain daily. BUT she NEVER GIVES UP!

Diane loves to ride her motorcycle. Because of her disabilities she can’t ride 2 wheels. She added a trike kit to her motorcycle so she could continue to ride. She refuses to give up riding. Diane enjoys the freedom of riding in the wind.

charcot marie tooth

Diane Gracely and her Motorcycle