Toni Street Reveals She Is Battling Rare Auto-Immune Disease

Publish Date
Monday, 5 October 2015, 10:44AM
Photo- NZ Herald

Photo- NZ Herald

Toni Street has revealed she's battling a rare auto-immune disease and is "worried that I'm not going to be around to look after my girls".

The Seven Sharp presenter and mother-of-two tells this week's Woman's Day that her diagnosis of Churg-Strauss syndrome came as a shock.

"If someone had told me six months ago that I was about to go through all this, I just don't know what I would've thought, but it's amazing how resilient you can be when you're faced with these things," she tells the mag.

"I have had some very dark moments, though, when I've worried I'm not going to be around to look after my girls - and that's been tough."

Street was so sick she was in the early stages of organ failure thanks to the incurable disease, which causes an overactive immune system and gives sufferers allergies to start with, before moving on to attack individual organs.

Street has been battling agonising stomach pains for six years - even having her gall bladder removed after the birth of her second child - but only discovered what was causing them in the past few months.

"I'd been told that I would feel miles better pretty much as soon as my gallbladder was out, but just a day or two later, the horrible pain returned and I just had this awful sinking feeling that things still weren't right.

"I kind of knew deep down that something else quite nasty was going on."

Street is being treated with steroid infusions and immune-suppressant drugs each day, and may have chemotherapy in the future, WD reports.

"They (the infusions) make me really puffy and achy, and you just feel really worn out ... they make you feel quite depressed."

But Street says she's determined to continue on at her job presenting Seven Sharp and says it could have been "so much worse".

"Every time I see my specialist, he just keeps saying, 'You're a very lucky girl,' because most of my organs were spared."

What is Churg-Strauss syndrome?
An autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of blood vessels, Churg-Strauss syndrome comes in three stages. The first is inflammation, allergies and asthma; the second is tissue damage to the lungs and digestive system; and finally vasculitis, organ failure and, potentially, death. Making things more complicated is that symptoms can appear and disappear, only to return years later. Treatment involves using drugs to suppress the immune system. It is named after the doctors who first discovered in, Jacob Churg and Lotte Strauss, in 1951. (Source: Wikipedia)

Source- NZ Herald