Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day draws attention to rare disorder

International Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day calls attention to a rare disorder causing facial paralysis and one Calgary sufferer hopes it will help remove the stigma of the disease.

Calgary woman with disease hopes attention will reduce stigma

Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day

9 years ago
Duration 1:48
A SAIT student in Calgary is doing what she can to help others understand the rare disorder that affects her facial movements.

Kelsey Ferrill, a 24-year-old journalism student at SAIT in Calgary, suffers from an extremely rare condition. 

Moebius Syndrome affects only 10,000 people worldwide. It damages the cranial nerves, causing paralysis in the facial muscles. 

As a result of the syndrome, Ferrill has partial paralysis of the face. She has difficulty swallowing and speaking and is often the object of rude remarks and cruel comments. 

"I guess the sad thing is I'm used to it, so it doesn't actually bother me as much as it used to," she said.

Jan. 24 is the annual Moebius Syndrome Awareness day. It is intended to call attention to the disorder.

Ferrill says she hopes the publicity will help people look past the paralysis and see the person who is affected.