Rodewig’s Road to Recovery

Many teenagers often choose to not try in school while others are not capable of doing well in school.

Senior Heather Rodewig has gone throughout her school career while maintaining good grades and working all while with multiple health issues.

“I refuse to let my health issues affect my goals. I have to work a little harder at times, but I do what I have to,” said Rodewig.

Rodewig has an inverted fifth chromosome, which affects both her reproductive and digestive systems. She has tachycardia (fast heart rate), hypertension (high blood pressure), severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and an autoimmune disorder. Her body produces antibodies that attack her thyroid. All of this contributes to weakened lungs and kidneys which cause her to get respiratory, kidney and bladder infections frequently.

“There is not a main problem that causes my health issues. It all stems from a different cause,” said Rodewig.

Treatments in the past have helped the pain she endured on a daily basis.

“I have had surgery three times to repair my reproductive system, but my pregnancy chances are still slim to none. I had my gall bladder removed to help with the digestive flare-ups and abdominal pain, but I have recently started having episodes again,” said Rodewig.

She is currently managing her health issues. She has good and bad days, but winter often brings struggle for her. Rodewig has many medications that help with the treatment of her health issues.

“Presently, I see five specialists regularly, a DNA specialist, electro physiologist, gastrointestinal specialist, spine specialist and a gynecologist. My general physician treats my other conditions,” said Rodewig. Considering her health problems, Rodewig is fortunate school work comes to her easily.

She not only comes to school and does the work necessary in the classroom but she goes beyond that to accomplish above average grades.

“I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with intelligence. I do not have to try very hard to maintain my grades. Honestly, if I did, I would not be doing as well as I am,” said Rodewig.


Story By Sadie Kesterson