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The Martin Mueller IV Achalasia Awareness Foundation, Inc. is organized for charitable,  educational, and scientific purposes, including such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future tax code. 

This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or any other individual.  Through this site and linkages to other sites, Martin Mueller IV Achalasia Awareness Foundation, Inc. provides general information for educational purposes only.  The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.   Martin Mueller IV Achalasia Awareness Foundation, Inc. is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.  We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request.

Black Desert


Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus that makes it difficult to swallow solid or liquid foods. The act of swallowing causes a wave or peristalsis in the esophagus.  Peristalsis is the succession of waves of involuntary muscular contractions in the esophagus, stomach and the intestines, which transports food and waste products from the mouth to the colon.  In achalasia, peristalsis in the esophagus is diminished, erratic or no longer functioning.   This condition occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) (muscle located between the esophagus and the stomach) doesn’t relax sufficiently, which makes it hard for food or liquids to pass from the esophagus into the stomach.


A hard disease to swallow



Created in Memory of Steve Vernon

Christine Vernon, a writer from the Chicago area, learned about Achalasia when her late son began to have serious problems swallowing when he was in his early twenties. The first test for achalasia was negative, however, a test done a month later showed that he was positive for Achalasia. He began the typical routine of balloon dilation of his esophagus but when things got more serious, he had a Heller Myotomy and Funduplication surgery in November 2008. Four days before his passing, Steve informed us that the recent surgery was not working. Steve left us too early on August 15, 2010 when very little information was available about this disease and possible courses of treatments.  We all have enormous regrets about not being able to help him and be more supportive or even understand the scope and depth of the problem. 


“Steve, our beloved son, who was a successful attorney with a promising career, died at age 30. He had more than one autoimmune condition but Achalasia was a contributing factor to his death. We are committed to this work of the foundation so that other families will not find themselves in the position we were in, not knowing much about the condition, where to find information, help and support, alternative treatments, and competent specialists.” – Christine Vernon


At MMIVAAF, we strive to connect patients and families to support each other through the emotional journey that is Achalasia. We are dedicated to raising awareness for this disease and endeavor to provide members with the most up-to-date information and interactions with professionals in the field of medicine. 

This site has provided me with so much information and support. It is the people here that motivated me to finally, after 12 years, get the courage to address my Achalasia problem. Thank you Martin Mueller!

Judy T.

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