The World Adhesion Foundation Scores A State Grant:
Help For Adhesion Sufferers Is On Its Way
For more than 10 years, after the removal of a benign tumor from her pancreas, Augusta Sisler was in seemingly perfect health, living a seemingly perfect life. She met the man of her dreams, got married and was excited about her career.
Then, at the age of 34, she started to experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and the inability to eat solid foods. Something was very wrong.
That something was an Adhesion Related Disorder (ARD). Abdominal adhesions are bands of tissue that form between abdominal tissues and organs after surgery. Most of the time, this isn't a huge problem. Normally, internal tissues and organs have slippery surfaces, which allow them to shift easily as the body moves, but adhesions can cause tissues and organs to stick together. And this can cause severe complications.
Sisler has had 8 operations trying to remove these adhesions and the last one, in 2001, stuck her in an ICU for 11 days, almost took her life and left her unable to have children. This is why Sisler feels so strongly about helping others with this problem. She doesn't want anyone to have to go through the pain, anguish and tragedy that she has endured.
So she formed the World Adhesion Foundation, which focuses on the research of Adhesion Related Disorders that stem from surgical operations. Their mission is to assist ARD sufferers and to increase public awareness of the disorder. They do this by implementing programs, raising funds and organizing medical conferences to develop treatments for ARD.
Now, with a lot of hard work and the help of Senator LaValle, the World Adhesion Foundation has received an extremely beneficial state grant. It will be used to expand research and support, and to push for consent forms for surgical patients to sign, making them aware of possible complications post surgery. Another goal is to open a research center at Stony Brook University Medical Center , where scientists can study and explore new medications and therapies for ARD.
One such drug is Seprafilm, an adhesion barrier that has eased Sisler's suffering and which can help alleviate others' pain. “The worst thing is getting a call from a patient who is desperate,” relates Sisler. “When it happened to me, I thought that I was the only human being going through this. There was no one to help, no support group.” Sisler is trying to change all that, through education, patient advocacy and research.
“I have a lot of dreams. My next dream is to go to the White House. I see a picture of me standing in the rose garden next to the President.”
Despite her years of pain and suffering, Sisler likes to stay upbeat and optimistic, and makes sure to laugh every day. “Instead of getting angry and mad, you have to turn that around and say ‘No.' You have to take that anger and do something positive with it.” By forming the World Adhesion Foundation and helping countless others, she has.
For more information about the World Adhesion Foundation and ARD, go to