Meet Adam - the AI Warrior. After his diagnosis, Adam combined his creativity, love of Fortnite and new learned skills from living with Addison's disease to create his own Fortnite character, the AI Warrior.

Here Adam shares with us what it's like to be diagnosed with a rare condition at a young age and how he's now working to reach the whole Addison's community through his character the AI Warrior. He invites you to draw your own warrior, creating a team all with their own unique talents and accessories. Ultimately Adam wants to reach Fortnite and Epic Games to get his character included! And here at the ADSHG we want to help Adam reach as many people as possible.

The AI Warrior mirrors Adam's daily life, someone fighting despite their illness and in some ways stronger than the average person on the street but all in a fun and playful way - and equipped with his essential survival kit, salt water, pill dispenser and even a gherkin belt.

"Hello all. I am fighting for the awareness of rare diseases. I have Addison's Disease and created the AI warrior to give people an idea of my daily needs and to spread awareness. I would love my character to be added to Fortnite for some special event."

Drawing of Adam

Follow Adam on Twitter @Adistor1

Adam's Story

It's mid summer, the sun is shining bright, the air is dry and I am prepared to go outside. My bag is packed, water, snacks and my trusty hat. I find my route, moving between the shadows and always avoiding the sun. I finally reach the destination, my granny and grandad´s house...I am drained from walking half a mile……meanwhile, everyone else is fine…..inside, I am a warrior….I have to be.

Photo of Adam and his brother Marcel

I am Adam, part kid and part warrior

My fight is sometimes daily and mostly it is a fight to be understood. I am now 12 and have lived with Addison´s disease for 4 years. I live with my family in Slovakia and have a younger brother, Marcel. Looking back, it all started when I kept wanting lemon drinks. Mum would make them all the time and sometimes I would sit there just sucking lemons. Then, I found myself wanting to lay down a few times….but this was nothing really. One night, I felt sick and told mum and dad. I next fainted….this was getting strange. We went to the doctor who told us to come back if things don’t get better. I ended up unable to walk so my mum and dad brought me to hospital in my brothers push chair. Luckily the hospital was only 15 minutes walk away and there begun the journey to become the warrior.

My Diagnosis

I was a mystery to the doctors and nurses but the main children's doctor had a thought but needed tests to be completed. Now, it was obvious there was something wrong, I was very thin and unable to stand for long….even having an MRI scan without fainting was impossible.

So, then came the news…I have Addison's Disease….this explains the tanned skin and salt obsession. Everyone, was happy to have a result but also asking what was this mystery illness. In hospital, mum was looking up it up but it appeared to mostly affect middle aged women. Our first accurate information about Addison's disease was from the ADSHG website which gave us free leaflets and a beginners guide of sorts. This answered most of the questions for this rare illness and it seemed that kids can also get it….I was not alone.

Being Rare

For me at the time, rare was cool and being the only English kid at school, made me double cool. I was now equipped with pills and told all will now be fine. Mum and dad were happy to have a solution to the problem and life was getting better.

Then after some weeks begun my “good days” and “bad days” and this is where I am now, in my new normal.

We soon realised that the illness was not history. I would have to be careful and mum and dad would need to take extra care of me. You see, “rare” has meant that the problem of having this illness is in the hands of my parents. So this is where I thought I could help in my own way.

Adam's drawing of AI warrior with all items he carries to manage Addison's

Follow Adam on Twitter @Adistor1

The AI Warrior

Lock-down has taken me away from my friends at school but has taught me the benefits of the online community. I really like Fortnite and the idea of character design in computer games. So, the AI Warrior was born, equipped with my essential survival kit, salt water, pill dispenser and even a gherkin belt. When I am not feeling well, gherkins and fruit are always there to support me.

The AI Warrior is my way to express my creative side, show people my daily fight and hopefully one day get my character in the game. I really enjoy showing my character to the world and the feedback is great.

It is great when people ask what is this illness, so I have my chance then to make people aware….I am spreading awareness whilst having fun. I have also come across warriors of other illnesses and maybe one day, I could lead a group of rare illness warriors, each with a unique need but all far stronger than they appear.

Adam's drawing of AI Warrior in a crowd of people and only 4 of them are coloured blue to show they have Addison'sFollow Adam on Twitter @Adistor1

So, what advice can I give people my age with Addison's disease….I would say, always try to talk about how you feel and also listen to people who have the same illness….you are not alone.

Find things to do in your life that come easy to you, respect the routine of the pills and remember, the warrior inside of you is stronger than anyone can imagine.

Photo of Adam drawing

Author: Adam aka The AI Warrior. 

Thank you to Adam's family, Oliver, Suzi, Adam and Marcel, for helping Adam share his story with us.

Follow Adam on Twitter and Instagram

Can you help Adam get the AI Warrior included in Fortnite? Please share this blog and retweet Adam's posts to raise awareness or get in touch with us at the ADSHG.

Addison's disease can strike at any age - we're here to support you.

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