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Family looks for answers to high schooler's mystery life-threatening illness

Claire Celski requires round-the-clock observation, but nobody knows what's causing it.
Claire Celski (left) has been fighting the life-threatening illness for a year.

Claire Celski (left) has been fighting the life-threatening illness for a year.

The family of a Twin Cities teenager is looking for help finding what's behind her mystery, life-threatening condition.

A year ago, Claire Celski was a sophomore at Hill Murray Catholic School in Maplewood when, without warning, she went into anaphylactic shock.

Since then the attacks have occurred with a regularity, and bear a lot of the hallmarks of a serious reaction to a food allergy, except that this has been ruled out as the cause.

The symptoms of shock begin, leading the 17-year-old to stop breathing, pass out and her blood pressure to drop dangerously low. On her CaringBridge page, her family says that Epi pens initially helped, but have become less and less effective.

"Each episode requires an ambulance ride to the ER. She has been to countless doctors and specialists, even Rochester Mayo Clinic, with no concrete diagnosis or treatment plan."

Her condition has been referred to as "Idiopathic Anaphylaxis" – which roughly translates to anaphylaxis without cause.

It has a debilitating effect on her life, with the attacks occurring seemingly at random when she's at school, playing sports, watching TV, or sleeping in bed.

She's unable to fly, travel in a car for any significant distance, work or socialize outside of home, and can only spend limited hours at school.

"Due to the severity of her reaction, she cannot be alone … ever," her uncle, Matt Celski, told BMTN.

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Claire's illness has been the subject of discussion from doctors throughout the country, with her family going public with her condition in the hope that someone else who have suffered from the same condition – or a doctor who has seen it before – has an idea of effective treatments.

In the meantime, fundraising campaigns have been started to help offset her family's mounting medical costs, with her expenses already well into the six figures.

A GoFundMe campaign can be found here and has already raised more than $8,000.

Meanwhile, a "Pasta With A Purpose" fundraiser will be held at the Green Mill Restaurant in Woodbury starting noon on Sunday, May 19. Details on that event can be found here.

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