Syringomyelia and Chiari Malformation

October 22, 2010 Updated Oct 22, 2010 at 6:54 PM EDT

By WKBW Programming

October 22, 2010 Updated Oct 22, 2010 at 6:54 PM EDT

(WKBW) Imagine having chronic pain and not being able to do much about it. That's what life is like for people with two rare neurological conditions that affect the spinal cord.

25-year old Laura Kane-Punyon, a native Western New Yorker is battling both of these conditions.

She was born with Chiari malformation, where the bottom of her brain is too big for her skull and it puts pressure on the spinal cord.

It also causes another disorder, syringomyelia, where fluid in the spinal cord damages nerves.

She was first diagnosed at age 9. Since then, she's had five operations and at one time, took hundreds of pain pills.

Now working in New York City, Laura is still active along with her parents in the Column of Hope Foundation that raises money to help fund research on these disorders.

For more information on Column of Hope, click on News Links.

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