Nick Foles will forever be Philadelphia's hero for leading the Eagles to national victory, but the Super Bowl MVP has his own personal champ: his wife, Tori Moore, who is battling a little-known but debilitating disorder called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), CNN reported Tuesday.
For Moore and many POTS sufferers, part of her struggle was to be accurately diagnosed.
"They told me I had a virus," Moore said, "but I had never heard of one where you are dizzy all the time. There were times I couldn't get out of bed."
"It was tough for me because I was still healthy," Foles told CNN, "and I could see what she was going through. But she's amazing, and we've grown closer together."
The couple spoke Saturday at the annual meeting of Dysautonomia International, a nonprofit association dedicated to POTS research, education, and patient empowerment, reported CNN. The conference was in Nashville.
POTS affects an estimated three million Americans, most of whom are women. It is a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary functions of the body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, breathing, and many other basic processes. The chronic syndrome can cause significant disability, including profound dizziness, fatigue, pain, and an elevated heart rate, the Inquirer and Daily News previously reported.
According to CNN, since so few doctors are educated on the disorder's symptoms, many more people may suffer from the syndrome than previously thought.
In her blog, Moore relayed her encounter with one cardiologist while she was seeking a diagnosis:
"I will never forget when he looked at me in his office and said, 'You are young and healthy. You are in perfect condition. Have you looked into depression or anxiety?'"
Many people with POTS find it difficult, even impossible, to attend school or hold a job. For Moore, one of her triumphs has been achieving her dream of motherhood, CNN reported. The couple's daughter, Lily James, was born last June.
Earlier this month, the local Race to Beat POTS 5K was held to raise awareness and funds for research. The race was pioneered by Chester County friends Taylor Kulp and Erin Harten, who both were diagnosed with POTS.