By the time Kay Schwister got her diagnosis last summer, she couldn't talk anymore. But she could still scowl, and scowl she did.
After weeks of decline and no clue what was causing it, doctors had told Schwister — a 53-year-old vocational rehab counselor and mother of two from Chicago — that she had an incurable disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD.
The disease was shrinking Kay's brain, and riddling it with holes. She would likely live only a few more weeks, the doctors said.