My name is Jennifer Manzo and I’m from Long Island, New York. I have been volunteering with the Pheo Para Alliance since January of 2021, mostly as a Peer Support Meeting facilitator and member of PPA’s Patient Engagement Committee. Recently, I was appointed Chair of the Patient Engagement Committee.
I am a pheo patient who was diagnosed with bilateral pheochromocytomas in February 2020 after nearly a decade of symptoms. In September 2020, I had surgery to remove both adrenals as well as a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. As a result of my bilateral adrenalectomy, I now live with adrenal insufficiency. Genetic testing has revealed that I carry a MAX mutation, which requires regular follow up to check for recurrence. In addition to my pheo diagnosis, I also have a history of neuroblastoma as an infant.
Despite the challenges that have come along with my diagnosis, I’m incredibly grateful for what I feel is a second chance at life. Volunteering with the Pheo Para Alliance has granted me the opportunity to give back while connecting with others affected by pheo and para. I love connecting with patients during our peer support meetings and welcome messages from anyone who wishes to connect one-on-one as well!