I was diagnosed with achalasia outside of the UCLA Health system in August 2017. Achalasia is a condition that affects only one out of every 100,000 people, resulting in the lower esophageal sphincter tightening up and not allowing food to go down to the stomach. It is an undesirable weight loss program. My outside provider did not move quickly enough to meet my health care needs, which quickly deteriorated, so I brought my healthcare issues to UCLA Health. Dr. Alireza Sedarat at UCLA Gastroenterology Santa Monica was quickly able to diagnose my achalasia condition and offer the POEM procedure. Within two months of diagnosis, I was on the operating table at the Westwood campus undergoing the minimally invasive POEM procedure. As a result of Dr. Sedarat’s professional care, I’m able to eat regular food. I’m thankful for the research Dr. Sedarat and his colleagues do to help patients, like me, lead a somewhat normal “eating” life once again.