With permission from her family, the POTS Walk and 5K Race is held in memory of Christina Tournant. Christina was a beautiful, intelligent, driven young woman who developed POTS at age 15. Despite the debilitating symptoms POTS caused her, she was named class Valedictorian of her high school in Osceola, Florida and she lettered in several sports. After high school she enrolled in MIT, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. She was a member of the MIT swimming and diving team and the Alpha Phi sorority. Christina suffered a significant worsening of her POTS symptoms in December 2014, requiring her to put her college plans on hold and returned home to Florida in February to seek medical care. While she was always smiling, she endured terrible physical pain and gastrointestinal symptoms. Tragically, Christina took her own life on March 5, 2015. She left a note for her family, “sorry, I couldn’t keep fighting.”
There are no words to express how sad we are for Christina, her family and her friends. She was everything you would want your daughter, sister or friend to be. Despite her many accomplishments and a strong support system, she could not cope with the burdens that a debilitating chronic illness placed on her.
We cannot bring Christina back, but we can work together in her honor to make sure that other POTS patients don’t have to suffer the way she did. All of the proceeds of the POTS Walk and 5k Race will be donated to Dysautonomia International to support POTS research, to find better treatments and a cure. Research means hope for a better future for the 1-3 million Americans who live with POTS, most of whom are young women just like Christina.