I am Brandon Westfall - 29 Year Old Male Who Hasn't Hit Puberty (Kallmann's Syndrome) - |AMA
-=I will be continuing this |AMA over the next two days. Feel free to leave your questions and I will get to them as soon as possible.(October 17th and 18th)=-
-=Please leave more questions and I will get to them throughout the day.=-
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Hi! My name is Brandon Westfall. I am a 29 year old male who hasn't hit puberty. When I was younger I always knew in the back of my mind there was something wrong with my body but never really thought to look into it until my late teens. I needed to get a physical exam completed in order to join my high school soccer team. While visiting the doctor I asked him why I had not hit puberty, he essentially blew the subject off and told me I was a late bloomer. I never really put much thought into things after that and focused on school/work.
After I graduated from high school I had a rather large growth spurt. I went from 5'4" to 6'3" in a matter of months. I thought ok wow, finally my body is going through the changes needed to be normal. At the time I did not realize this was actually a bad thing and I should have been seeking medical attention.
Over the years I had been through some very rough times (divorce, unable to find employment, as well as being homeless for nearly two years in Carson City, NV) and dealt with bouts of depression due to lack of work and relationship problems. Eventually I decided I needed to research what was wrong with me. After several months of research I diagnosed myself with Kallmann's Syndrome.
Kallmann syndrome is a genetic condition where the primary symptom is a failure to start puberty or a failure to fully complete it. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kallmann_syndrome)
At this time I contacted several TV shows including Ellen, Dr. Oz, and The Doctors. A week after writing these shows I received an email from one of CBS' researchers, Mackenzie Kolling. Mackenzie was fascinated with my story but she wanted to confirm the validity of my medical problems. Initially the show wanted me to write a letter or film a short clip asking The Doctors what could cause my medical problems. After speaking with me over Skype The Doctors decided to fly me out to LA and film an episode around my condition.
I was given the option to remain anonymous on the show as they realized my condition was very embarrassing and hard to deal with. After a lot of consideration I decided this was not an option for me. I knew I was not the only one living this nightmare and I wanted people to see how it affected my life on a daily basis.
Over a four day period I went through various testing and in the end my diagnosis of Kallmann's Syndrome was confirmed. (Several MRIs, Blood Work, Dex Scans, Physical Exams ect.) The show initially attempted to get me in touch with an endocrinologist in Tennessee by the name of Edward Kim. The issue with this at the time was that I did not have a job or reliable transportation. Due to this I was never able to see Edward or start any real treatment.
Over the past two years I have been on TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) on three separate occasions for 2-3 months at a time. Each time I start treatment the cost of seeing a doctor frequently, blood work, and the medication itself gets overwhelming. I've tried applying for medical assistance but I have been denied every time as they do not feel my condition is severe enough.
In addition to Kallmann's Syndrome I also suffer from very frequent, severe muscle spasms which prevent me from doing physical work. I am currently working for Teleperformance USA as an AppleCare Senior Advisor. When overtime is available I do my best to work it in order to catch up on medical bills and eventually start treatment again. Last year prior to starting my current job I created a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/Brandon_Westfall) to try to get assistance with medical costs. After starting work I decided it would be better if I tried to pay for my medical problems without asking for assistance from others.
Two weeks ago I was informed a Reddit post has been created about me and it was highly recommended that I do an |AMA. After some consideration I created a video on my youtube channel and decided on today as the date. (https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/3ndy7y/twentyseven_year_old_man_hasnt_reached_puberty)
The Doctors' Youtube video of my episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eitQYgCqA-0