I have the autoimmune disease that killed Harold Ramis

“… you said before you were waiting for a sign. What sign are you waiting for?” ~Dr. Egon Spengler


Harold Ramis died yesterday of complications from Vasculitis at just 69-years-old.

I also have vasculitis. 

It’s been a minute since I’ve dealt with a flare, but this all too well puts things into perspective (once again) for me. I’m amazed still that I survived my bout with anaphylaxis several years back. My vasculitis was soo intense that the backs of my legs literally looked like a road map for about three weeks following the incident.

For those who don’t know, I nearly died Thanksgiving of 2010 after handling wheat. I had never had an allergic reaction before. Long story short, I was already diagnosed with Celiac Disease, so hadn’t eaten wheat in years. I didn’t realize that helping my mom prepare cornbread dressing that year would put me in the hospital, twice, with anaphylaxis. I barely made it down the stairs to get help Thanksgiving morning, stopping about three times to try and catch my breath and gather strength. It was awful. Despite taking several Benadry, my lips and face continued to swell and my limbs and lungs were ON FIRE with hives. (Not only had I handled it for about an hour, but also breathed it in.)

Skip forward a week later and although the swelling is down, my body is covered in hives, I still can’t breath well and my veins are bleeding out, causing my legs to look as if there’s a purple-laden road map covering the back of them.

My diagnosis (well, one of them) — Autoimmune Inflammatory Vasculitis. 

It’s what what recently killed “Ghostbusters” actor Harold Ramis, a mere four years following his diagnosis.

Am I scared you ask … NO!

People come and go everyday. Some from health issues, others tragic accidents and others still are mercilessly murdered.

Only God himself knows the number of our days. I find comfort in that.

I choose to live above my illnesses. Define them (literally on this Blog) rather than allowing them to define me. Autoimmune issues are no different than issues that every other person on earth has faced since the fall of Adam! Whether that be Cancer, obesity, arthritis — or mental issues like ADHD, Depression or Bipolar disease.


Harold Ramis didn’t allow his disease to come between himself and his dreams. Even following his diagnosis he went on to write the screenplay to “Year One,” “The Real Ghostbusters (short)” and the “Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime” video game.

In 2012 he produced the documentary  Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance.

From 2006-2010 (in the midst of his diagnosis) he directed four episodes of one of my favorite shows “The Office.”


And I’m not even pretending I’m going to list how many self-credited documentaries he participated in — or what side projects he may have been in the midst of.

My point …

Don’t stop living just because you have an illness. 

Yes, you might have to slow down a while or alter your hours or sometimes say no.

But make the decision TODAY to get out there and be the person you want to be. Our time here is short.

Like Dr. Egon Spengler — be the person that comes to others’ minds when they need to call on someone.


RIP Harold Ramis



About Imkjac

I love my work. I also love the following things: God, my boys, my family, dogs, cats, writing, photography, reading (a bit of a lit geek actually), cooking, being outdoors, hiking, fishing, film, music, Spotify, beards, tattoos, board games, TV (also a TV geek), Netflix, pajamas, antiquing, interior decorating (DIY), blankets, polar bears, art, food. I dislike these things: elevators, heights, unclear water, bridges. Thanks for reading my blog and hoping it brings some comfort and joy to others.
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