Jeanie Maresh’s spirit was finally beginning to soar. She had moved from Indiana to Oregon in 1990, married Chris three years later and was now busy living out the truth of that redemptive nugget–“the third time’s the charm.” Her happy marriage was especially sweet since she had been single for the previous 13 years–following her second divorce–a period when she wondered if she would ever be able to leave behind the effects of a childhood marred by abuse. She couldn’t seem to shake that all-pervasive stigma. She had chosen the wrong man twice, and each relationship had withered on the vine. But Chris was different–kind, giving, quick to smile. Then, with little warning, she got hit harder than she’d ever been hit before.

This time the blow came out of nowhere–an invisible assailant–but she’ll never forget the moment it struck. “It was March of 1999, and I went down fast–balance and coordination problems, extreme burning in my legs, extreme fatigue, cognitive problems, vision, it was full-blown.” She was no stranger to aches and pain, having dealt with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disease, for more than 30 years. She had put up with dislocated kneecaps, elbows, fingers, and seven knee surgeries, most of that time working, raising two sons, moving about the country. But this attack came from