Rare Disease

homer simpson narcolepsy not alone

When the Simpsons premieres tonight at 8pm ET/PT,  Homer will get “narcolepsy”. I’m thrilled to report that Executive Producer, Al Jean tweeted me: “The episode was modified somewhat after I read the extremely compelling article you wrote. Not sure you will be 100% happy…” Thank you, Al Jean and the Simpsons  for thoughtfully reading and modifying […]


suffering the silence social media campaign narcolepsy not alone julie flygare patient x

Living in Silence: Eight years ago today, on Sept. 18, 2007, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy, a serious chronic neurological disorder of the sleep/wake cycle. I told friends and family right away. Finally, I had scientific words to describe my mysterious symptoms. But I hated people’s reactions. Some acted as if I’d said […]


Narcolepsy: Not Alone

As a 29-year-old, female journalist and photographer, I am accustomed to the words people use to define me; “Fearless”, “gutsy”, “courageous” are just a few. But, as a woman living with severe narcolepsy, I often struggle to reconcile these one-dimensional characterizations with my own sense of self. That disconnect was recently underscored when I announced […]


julie flygare narcolepsy hyersomnia conference 2015

Recently, I traveled to Atlanta to speak at the Hypersomnia Conference 2015. The conference featured a great variety of support groups and fantastic presentations by medical leaders, educational experts, patient advocates and a disabilities attorney. Uniquely, the conference also included hypersomnia, narcolepsy and KLS speakers and attendees, so we could share and learn from each […]

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Recently, I received a video from a mother of a young boy with narcolepsy. Warning: I cannot watch this video without crying. Brooke describes: “My 11-year-old son, Owen, was diagnosed with narcolepsy last spring. It was and is scary, and there just isn’t a lot of information out there, especially positive information! So you have […]

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While crossing the finish line of the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon was an awesome moment, my biggest prize came yesterday when Project Sleep gave out TEN scholarships to students with narcolepsy through the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship program. Meet the 2015 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship Recipients: View Scholarship Awards Announcement View/Download […]



Over the weekend, the Executive Producer of The Simpsons, Al Jean, corresponded briefly regarding the Homer Simpson narcolepsy news via Twitter. First, he tweeted “.@thesimpsons Extremely interesting article about the true dangers of narcolepsy” to share the NY Post article on my experience with narcolepsy (re-published from Women’s Health Magazine). View the tweet here and retweet! I responded, […]


homer simpson narcolepsy

It seems that Hollywood has a surprisingly large percentage of cases of narcolepsy, a disorder affecting 1 in 2,000 people, about 200,000 Americans and 3 million people worldwide, including many children and young adults. The latest Hollywood victim is Homer Simpson. Word on the street is he going to discover he has narcolepsy in the […]



by julie on June 12, 2015

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As I crossed the start line of the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon, runners started passing me. I laughed when a pack of Elvis(s) passed me. Typical. “Slow and steady. No one to beat. Nothing to prove,” I told myself. My shirt was drenched with sweat within 3 miles. Soon my hands raisined and […]


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Grand Rounds is the important educational tradition of doctors and healthcare professionals getting together to learn about evolving areas which may be outside of their core practice. However, patients are rarely invited to participate, so sharing my narcolepsy journey at Nova Southeastern University (NSU)’s Grand Rounds on May 8, 2015 was a HUGE honor. This is why, just 24 hours […]