LaTasha Lachic McMillan was born to be a star. Born on the 5th day of the 5th month at 5am, the Flint Michigan native was destined to push through adversity to be in the right position to share her exceptional talents with the world. Learning and developing at an accelerated pace is nothing new for LaTasha. This has been an ongoing testimony. It all began when LaTasha was expedited into an adult life as a teenager with the tragic loss of her brother. Supported by family and friends, LaTasha took on the responsibility of raising her young niece
as a single parent. LaTasha reminds us that “taking on unexpected challenges is the fuel that generates life”. Life did not end for LaTasha, as being a teenage mother was just the prologue of a book that would develop many chapters… with one plot twist after another.
In 2009, LaTasha was determined to complete her education. “My niece needed to see me succeed” LaTasha recounts. “We pushed each other to become greater than our challenges. It was all we knew.” Attending the International
Academy of Design and Technology (IADT) in Las Vegas, Nevada with a concentration in the male dominated Audio Production Program, LaTasha was poised to graduate on the President’s List. But… there would be a plot twist. A
doctor’s selfish act generated another delay in LaTasha’s plan for her life. An occasional pain from LaTasha’s childhood began reoccurring. At the doctor’s suggestion, a routine pain management program was introduced. Unaware her physician was overmedicating her body, LaTasha’s body became saturated with disease as her healthy blood cells became weaker and imbalanced with each passing day. Realizing his error, the doctor referred LaTasha to a specialist.
The doctor and the specialist continued attempts to manage LaTasha’s pain but was unable to fully diagnose her condition. Once back home from a strenguous back operation, LaTasha’s family physician barely recognized the now corpulent LaTasha as she had transformed from the 120 pound debutante into an unrecognizable 300 pounds… a transformation that took less than 4 months! After copious test were completed, LaTasha’s physician rushed her into the hospital due to rapidly failing organs.
In July of 2011, LaTasha was officially diagnosed with a critical form of Addison’s disease. Addison’s disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, is a long term endocrine disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones. As doctors attempted to jumpstart LaTasha’s adrenal glands, her family prepared to face the reality that there was only a 1% chance that LaTasha would be healed. With other issues from her former doctor’s other patient casting despondency and dejection on her situation, the family hoped for the best but prepared for the worst.
The absence of optimism engulfed the atmosphere, but LaTasha was determined to survive! “I knew I had to fight. Not just for me, but for my niece. Not just to prove the world wrong, but to prove God right! He told me He had a plan for my life. He placed a light in my soul and there is too much darkness that needs my presence.” Although in a hospital for 3 to 4 months at a time, LaTasha has used her struggles as motivation to live a full life. A life focused on bringing awareness to Addison and other rare and incurable diseases.
BAIR (Be Aware I’m Rare) is a nonprofit organization LaTasha has formed to begin bringing awareness, education, support, and inspiration to the 2% of the world afflicted with varying rare conditions. As LaTasha repeatedly tells her team, “If I can save 10 people. 100 people, 1000 people from experiencing what I’ve experienced, then this is worth the pain”. Working with Waleed ShamsidDeen, BAIR is also developing a 24 hour nurse hotline so that help can be given to sufferers and medical professionals unfamiliar with the proper treatments. BAIR’s vision is to empower families and individuals suffering from rare diseases and disorders. It is about empowerment, teaching, and sharing the word for each other. BAIR’s mission is to empower individuals on the proper protocols to treat these rare diseases and disorders especially in medical emergencies. Ultimately providing them with the best quality of life possible. “If I can get other people help through their diseases and generate the attention they need from doctors
and scientist, then I have accomplished what God has set for me to accomplish.
Now in Atlanta, LaTasha is experiencing a greater level of treatment from the prestigious Emory Hospital. LaTasha still struggles through everyday task, but she is no longer bedridden as her trainer has begun getting LaTasha’s body and spirit back into shape. “God built me up for this moment. God has made me a unique force in the universe and I will spread my light to share my testimony and help other people. I can’t afford to fail them!”