Colleen Sullivan's body is destroying itself.
At 17, the Marathon, Florida, resident contracted muscular dystrophy, followed by rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and "mixed connective tissue disease." Today, it's not unusual for Sullivan's knuckles to swell "nearly to the size of golf balls," her father, George Sullivan, writes.
"The tendons in her feet have begun the process of drawing the toes upward. Some days they are so tight that every step brings tears to her eyes. She has great difficulty walking. Her heart and lungs have also developed painful scar tissue."