No Limits PKU: Marketa Rysava’s JourneyMeg Mmuckenhoupt
Marketa Rysava is a PKUer who has traveled the world – and she’s about to start a new journey to Uganda. Marketa will be volunteering with the Girl Power Foundation, a group dedicated to empowering young girls by providing them with young female role models and building strong self-esteem… all while staying on-diet.
At the Girl Power Foundation site where Marketa will be working, girls get an education. They also get a chance to earn money by recycling discarded materials into products such as flip-flop sandals made of old tires. Marketa will be creating a business and marketing plan for Girl Power products – and also trying her hand at manufacturing herself.
Marketa writes that she making this journey for four reasons:
- To see the country, get to know the people and culture
- To have work experience in a totally different culture, and learn new points of view
- To challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone
- To prove there are no limits with PKU!
Cambrooke is co-sponsoring Marketa’s journey, supplying her with Glytactin Build 20/20, Glytactin BetterMilk Lite, and Glytactin Complete 15 Peanut Butter bars as well as low-protein foods including Cinnamon Hot Cereal, Instant Noodle Soup, Eggz, and MixQuick. We will be bringing Marketa’s blog posts as she travels in coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s a brief biography of this PKU adventurer!
30-year-old Marketa has plenty of experience with low-protein travel. Born in the Czech Republic, Marketa spent her weekends hiking in the mountains with her father, and vacations in sunny spots in Spain or Croatia – all while toting AA supplements and low-protein bread made by her grandmother. For meals that couldn’t fit in a backpack, Marketa’s family would go to buffets.
When she was 20, Marketa decided to make a big move – to England, to learn the language and work. Moving wasn’t easy. It took Marketa a year to get an appointment at a PKU clinic, Until then, she had to bring her low-protein food and AA formula with her from the Czech Republic. But Marketa persisted, and made friends, and stayed in England for four years before she decided to strike out again – this time for South Africa.
In 2010, Marketa spent two months in South Africa, backpacking and eating the enormous variety of fruits and vegetables available. She especially enjoyed eating at barbecues, where she filled up on side-dishes like grilled pumpkin filled with herbs and vegetables. Her one blunder: booking a three week stay at lodgings that didn’t offer kitchen access, leaving her at the mercy of local restaurants. She has never made that mistake again!
Marketa went on to travel for a month South Korea the next year, learning to love dried seaweed and kimchi, the spicy pickled radish and cabbage that accompanies most Korean meals. Stints in Bessude, Italy followed, where Marketa volunteered in a local non-profit work camp – coordinating other volunteers in Italian! – and went shopping for food with the work camp coordinator to make sure she could eat at the camp. Low-protein pasta was available at a local pharmacy, and Marketa ate happily when she wasn’t managing environmental clean-ups.
In 2013, Marketa moved to Denmark to start college. This time, she got in touch with a PKU clinic three months before she moved, and the transition went smoothly. She even found time in 2015 to bike around Albania, a low-income country with no newborn PKU screening, by bringing one bag for clothes, and one for her food and AA formula.
Marketa is now a seasoned PKU traveler. As she wrote in the Hamburger Kaffeeklatsch, “I understand now that it takes more preparation and planning for me to travel [than people without PKU], but it does not discourage me. I have become more responsible, creative, stronger and in particular, I learned to learn to compromise.”