The Big Sick film highlights writer’s real-life battle with adult-onset Still’s disease. The Big Sick film is based on the real-life courtship between Silicon Valley actor Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, writer Emily V. Gordon. In the movie, Zoe Kazan portrays Gordon onscreen, and Holly Hunter and Ray Romano play her parents.
The romantic dramedy portrays how the married co-writers dealt with the extremely rare form of arthritis that brought them together 10 years ago. Back then, Gordon was a therapist in Chicago and has been together with the then standup comedian Nanjiani. Gordon’s initial symptoms were similar to a cold. She thought she had a really bad cold or pneumonia. She fainted in the middle of getting an X-ray and was rushed to the emergency room.
Gordon was eventually diagnosed with adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD), a rare form of arthritis that can shut down major organs if untreated. Adult Still’s disease is characterized by high fevers, inflammation of the joints, and a salmon-coloured rash on the skin. It can either be chronic or episodic (having flare-ups a few times a year). In children, this disease is known as systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; when it occurs in people over age 15, it is known as adult Still’s disease. In Gordon’s case, AOSD affected her lungs, causing water to accumulate in her lungs. As a result, she had trouble breathing. Continue reading