screenshot of facebook post by rachel wright, photo of her son

Mom's Facebook Post Shares Why We Shouldn't Celebrate Perfect Attendance

1k
1k
75

One mom’s thoughts on rewarding perfect attendance are going viral after she shared her son would not be accepting a prize he won for not missing any school.

In a post shared to Facebook on Friday, Rachel Wright, an author and blogger from England, said she doesn’t want him to accept the reward because “being lucky enough not to get sick” is not a reason to celebrate.

“In this family we will think of as many reasons possible to praise our children. We will celebrate and reward them, but being lucky enough not to get sick is not one of them. He’s lucky to have not developed a fever, had an accident or live with a chronic illness,” Wright wrote.

Wright, who has an older son who was born with brain damage and lives with several disabilities, also explained that 100 percent attendance can “demonize the weakest” by shaming someone for ill health. She asked readers to imagine a workplace in which departments with the least number of people who had taken sick days were rewarded in front of everyone else.

“Can you imagine what kind of atmosphere that would create with people who had days off because of bereavement, mental health problem or chronic conditions?” Wright wrote. “What on earth are we teaching our kids about value and worth? What are we teaching them about looking out for each other and looking after the sick or disabled in our community?”

Finally, Wright noted that her son didn’t really have control over his attendance since she is the one who drives him to school every day, and he’ll be taking a few days off at the end of the year for vacation anyway.

The post, which has been shared more than 11,000 times and generated more than 3,000 comments since it was published last week, drew praise from parents of kids with chronic illnesses.

“My daughter has a chronic illness as well as many other health issues and has so many hospital appointments she’ll never get one of the above awards. Now they give the children with full attendance badges to wear too, it allows them extra privileges. She suffers enough with her health and from bullies, without the school pointing a finger of shame at her. I couldn’t have said it better,” one commenter said.

Others questioned Wright’s decision; one commenter wrote, “I personally think it’s a great achievement to get 100 percent attendance. You should celebrate this and let your son have his reward.”

In an interview with Metro, Wright clarified that her son is fine with not receiving his reward, a day at a play center, and that she’s planned an alternative celebration for him and his friends –those with and without perfect attendance.

“I don’t think our decision can be related to not getting an Olympic medal or diminishing a sense of pride. It’s about children being rewarded for what they are in control of, recognizing the duty of parents and in the wider scheme of things acknowledging that as a society we pity people with disabilities and long term conditions rather than value them,” Wright told Metro.

“Sickness is not something to be frowned upon or a result of ‘lack of achievement,’ it is predominantly a mix of luck and genetics, neither of which my kids can control.”

You can read the full post below:

1k
1k
75

RELATED VIDEOS

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Fearing for My Future With Illness

32
32
1

Sometimes I’m afraid.

There. I said it. I admitted it.

Some nights, when I’ve been extremely sick for one day too long, to where my body and my mind feel like they can’t handle one more second of this, I become afraid.

 

Why? Because I’ve learned over the years that every time I thought pain or sickness couldn’t get any worse than this, I was wrong.

So very, very wrong.

It can always get worse. You can add additional diseases, additional medications, additional side effects.

I wonder, if I feel this bad now, how will I feel in 10 years? What levels of pain and illness am I still ignorant to? If it’s worse than this, how will I handle it when I can barely handle this? It’s torture, at times.

The biggest fear that haunts me on these nights, though, is the fear of whether I will still be here 10 years from now. I’ve had some very scary, potentially fatal moments in my life. I’ve been really sick. I’ve escaped death. But, how long will I be lucky for? Will I improve as the years go by or will I continue on this path and worsen until my body can take no more?

These thoughts are hard. I’m normally very positive and optimistic, but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have days like this. Hard times. Fears. So, on nights like tonight, I become afraid. I feel broken. Scared. In pain. Overwhelmed.

The worry is like a smoldering log. Always ready to burst into flames of fear when life gets too hot.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via prudkov.

32
32
1
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

We Are Lion Moms. This Is Why We Roar.

28
28
0

“Lion Moms” are defined as mothers who have children with a chronic illness. This term is an appropriate spin-off from the term “Dragon Moms,” used to describe mothers who have children who are terminally ill.

Whether the “roar” is delivered through a silent act or a loud cry, parents of chronically ill children may appropriately relate to embracing the spirit of the lion, as some parents of terminally ill children have embraced the spirit of the dragon. In the Chinese culture the lion dance and the dragon dance are known for their powerful “movements,” which I think provides for the perfect metaphor to depict the movements of Dragon Moms and Lion Moms towards advocating and supporting their children.

Lions roar to proclaim their territory and rally members of their pride. Parents of chronically ill children similarly roar to protect their children and rally with other parents to amplify their roar as a unit.

Lion Moms are passionate, patient, love with great appreciation, strong and protective. Why do we roar? We watch our children in pain on a regular basis, without being able to provide them with the cure to their ailments. Lion Moms are called on to protect, educate and establish balance for their chronically ill children. Teaching a chronically ill child about their disease and establishing methods of doing things they can incorporate into their daily lives is vital to raising a child with a chronic illness to be an independent adult. Most chronic illnesses are associated with slow progressive deterioration of the body’s ability to conduct basic tasks. This forces the person with the chronic illness to constantly adjust the way they do things to retain as much independence as the condition will allow. Lion Moms are side by side with their children from day one, identifying what their children’s limitations are, encouraging them to find their limits and the strength to identify creative ways to do things that might not be as easy as it is for other children their age.

There are moments where Lion Moms want their chronically ill children to feel like they are “normal.” There is a constant balancing act between protecting the child from certain struggles that children should not have to worry about or even be aware of and coddling the child to the point where they lose out on vital opportunities to acquire the strength they need to handle the cards they have been dealt. Living with a chronic disease can be like being trapped in what feels like a never-ending race into the unknown. As Lion Moms, we recognize how exhausting and defeating life with a chronic condition can become, and we want to make sure we arm our children with all of the tools they will need to conquer their race and to never give up, regardless of not being able to see the finish line. We teach them to pace themselves as you would running a cross-country race. It is important that our children understand the race is going to be a long, exhausting and challenging one. While others who are healthy may experience periods of illness within their lifetime, whether it’s the flu or a cold or a broken bone, they understand the finish line is in sight. When you can see the finish line, it is much easier to encourage yourself to push harder to get to it and celebrate the accomplishment of regaining good health. With chronic illness, however, there is no visible finish line, nor are you guaranteed one within your lifetime. So Lion Moms must train their chronically ill children to have hope that the medical community may find a cure for their condition but to be cognizant of the potential that they may not experience a cure within their lifetime. As a result, it is important to prepare for what the next lap may introduce, whether it is a new symptom, a highly recommended surgery or a potential side effect from the new medication prescribed to slow the progression of the condition or treat a symptom in an attempt to improve basic quality of life.

Lion Moms accept the unpredictability of a chronically ill life and do our best to buffer the impact of having to miss an appointment or event from negatively affecting our child. As a caregiver of a child with a chronic disease, you learn quickly that plans are never concrete. Attending school, church, parties, doctor visits all depend on how my chronically ill child is feeling and whether he is physically able to hold his head up or not. If an event or an appointment falls on a day where my child cannot go, I, a Lion Mom, am now deployed to “social damage control.” Damage control entails doing my best to explain my child’s condition and why we are unable to attend without spending too much time away from my child, since in these moments, he needs me the most.

At times — actually most of the time — society pushes back, accusing me of being “too soft.” They don’t understand why my son at times looks healthy enough to be able to meet their expectations but for some reason is unable to consistently perform as expected. The explanation that one of my sons has atypical blau and vasculitis, while my other son has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and possibly cystic fibrosis, doesn’t seem to ever be enough. While some will understand, most do not and even go as far as to suggest I push my sons to meet an obligation their bodies are preventing them from meeting. This is when I roar. I stand up for my sons. I see their daily struggles. I know the pain they endure on a regular basis. I see them pushing themselves to limits I didn’t even know they had but am so proud to see them doing their best with the bodies they have been given. So when I hear statements like my child “needs to learn how to deal” or that “it is all in his head,” I roar. I roar for my sons because they are too young to roar for themselves. Diseases like the ones my sons were born with don’t just go away with positive thoughts or pure will. While people tend to naturally judge what they do not understand, I, along with other Lion Moms, will continue to roar for my cub. We will not only roar for them but will teach them to grow into lions with the capability to roar and rally with others like them for the benefits and accommodations they deserve as people living with chronic diseases.

I am not the only Lion Mom roaring for her children. I am a part of a community, a pride of Lion Parents, mothers and fathers who are dedicated advocates for their children with chronic diseases that permanently impact them into adulthood.

I am a single mom of two boys, both with chronic illnesses. My youngest son’s disease is both genetic and rare with no prognosis. His doctor explained to me that “we don’t know if he will make it or not, we don’t have enough data on his disease.”

I am a Lion Mom caring for two chronically ill children. My boys, my cubs, tell me, “Mommy make it stop.” They tell me, ”This pain is too much.” They cry, “I just want to feel no pain.” The experience of watching your children scream in pain, begging for you to help them, but you can’t even hold them because the pain from touching them is just too much for them to bear, is indescribable. As a Lion Mom, I am forced to watch my cubs’ little bodies collapse as they try to walk. My cubs receive treatments that keep them “able,” but they aren’t cures and they have side effects that bring me to my knees. However, while I am on my knees, I pray for the strength to rise back up for my boys.

A roar can be mistakenly perceived by some as a loud, obnoxious, egocentric cry from a parent who has chosen to coddle their child. Lion Moms bravely choose to push through ignorant judgments from people who simply don’t understand the implications of chronic illness, hoping someone will hear the roar and be able to offer a solution that will provide relief to their child.

A roar is in essence a desperate request for help, a request for empathy, an attempt to educate so others can understand the struggles life with a chronic illness entails. A roar is a Lion Mom’s attempt to advocate for her chronically ill children. A roar is also the example a Lion Mom is setting for her little cubs to learn how to advocate for themselves.

Although each day may be unknown, each day undoubtedly brings us hope. As a Lion Mom grows with her chronically ill cubs, she learns when her children are strong enough to push through the day and when they are about to collapse, without the exchange of words. Instincts begin to take route and weave themselves into the daily lives of a family affected by chronic disease.

In Judy Bolton-Fasman’s blog titled “Dragon Mothers and Grieving Parents” she states, “There is no one fiercer or scarier or more real in this world than a dragon mother. Dragon mothers are mothers who grieve for children who have died or are terminally ill. Dragon mothers breathe fire and scorch everything in their path.” Like Dragon Mothers grieving for the children they have lost or the child they are about to lose, Lion Mothers are also grieving — not for a child who has passed but for the healthy person their child may never have an opportunity to become. Lion Moms’ roars symbolizes the everyday fight to keep their children alive and comfortable, all while pushing this world towards medical advancements and shaping our society into a more accepting and accommodating place for children with various disabilities, through the passing of legislation, the inception of research and awareness foundations, charities and so much more.

Dragon Mothers and Lion Mothers are one in the same when it comes to the unconditional love they have for their children in need. The only difference between the two is time.

Lion Mothers use their voice… their roar… to make this world a more accepting and medically advanced place for the chronically ill. The children who beat the odds and make it to adulthood contribute to our society in a variety of positive ways, often because their Lion Mothers taught them perseverance and resilience.

A version of this post was published on JoanLunden.com.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Maggy Meyer

28
28
0
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

12 Study Strategies for Chronically Ill Students

34
34
0

Like many people with chronic illnesses, I struggle with brain fog, which complicates my academics. It has been a lot of trial and error over the last five years, but I have managed to find all the strategies that ensure my academic success in both high school and college. Here are some of my most effective study strategies:

 

1. Flashcards. Not only is making flashcards an excellent way to learn information that is not super conceptual in nature, but writing out the information is also another way to retain information. If writing is not an option for you, there are free flashcard generating websites like Quizlet.com that allow you to type in the information for the front and the back; then you print them. The site can automatically create tests and study guides, which is also helpful.

2. Color coding material. This can also help. I use yellow for the key terms/definitions, orange for little critical thoughts, blue for statistics/numbers/dates, green for conceptual ideas, and pink for any miscellaneous information of importance. This is my system, but any color can be used for anything. It is another method to ensure data retention.

3. Get a tutor or go to office hours. As freshman, we hear it over and over.

“Go to office hours.”

“Get to know your professor.”

“Get a tutor.”

Yet, most people, chronically ill or not, don’t take advantage of these resources. Most teachers love it when students email with questions, stop in for office hours for clarification and make an extra effort to do well. Freshman year, I did not go to office hours regularly, and it showed in my grades. Now my grades are much better because I work with my professors regularly. There’s no shame in getting extra help if you need it. It is better than failing the class, losing money, and having to retake it.

4. Highlighters. I separated this from color coding because the strategy is a little bit different. Highlighters help me keep my place and focus while I am reading. On bad days, I highlight the whole page just to keep my place.

5. Mnemonics. The sillier or more ridiculous the mnemonic is, the better I remember it. It can be an advantageous strategy.

6. Reading out loud. Sometimes reading aloud can help to focus on the material, especially when there are hundreds of pages you need to read. It keeps you from going on autopilot and merely skimming the material.

7. Study group. Studying is less miserable with friends. You can quiz each other, which helps both of you to study because it forces one to answer the question and one to explain why the answer is what it is.

8. Don’t cram! Our brains are taxed enough as it is, there’s no reason to exacerbate your conditions by overworking yourself. A little bit every day goes a long way.

9. Make a study timetable. Fill in doctor’s appointments and treatments in first. Then add the things you want to do, hobbies, sports, clubs, volunteering, etc. Next, add in work, and the time you will be studying. If you add the studying in first, you won’t have time for other things, which means that the study plan will go out the window faster.

10. Take a reasonable amount of credits. I always say I would rather take 12 credits a semester and end up with a 4.0 and on the dean’s list versus taking 18 credits, getting a 3.25, and not doing anything fun. If you can’t take a full load, that’s perfectly fine! Slow and steady gets the diploma.

11. Time management is so important in the life of a student. We only have so many spoons a day to accomplish everything we need to, so it is important to ensure that we are maximizing our chance to succeed. That’s why I avoid procrastinating. (Well, usually!) It is easier to do work when I am not as symptomatic, but sometimes it can be hard to motivate myself to study when I am feeling a little better versus doing something I want to do.

12. Most importantly, stay organized! I recommend a single notebook for each class with a large binder with several folders. Label those folders and keep all the papers inside. This keeps them organized, prevents loss of important papers and assignments, and keeps them from getting wrinkled.

When I found these strategies, my grades dramatically improved despite all of my conditions. It was not easy to find them, and some of them don’t work every day. It is all trial and error, but hopefully, this list gives you some places to start. While this is directed at individuals with chronic illnesses, these strategies can be easily applied by anyone.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock Image By: DragonImages

12 Study Strategies for Chronically Ill Students
34
34
0
TOPICS
, Listicle
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Finding the Good in Each Day With Chronic Illness

24
24
0

There is something good in every day.

Is there? Is that even a possible concept for those of us who have chronic illness?

The initial response from the chronic illness community might be a resounding “no.”

 

Pain, procedures, lack of sleep, lack of understanding, countless medical appointments and tests, chronic fatigue, lack of mobility, etc. These can all overwhelm the mind and body and constantly try to draw our focus away from seeing the moments of joy, moments that are good despite everything our bodies throw at us.  images 1


It’s 9:30 a.m. and a chilly sunny Sunday winter’s morning here in Brisbane, Qld. Our winter has finally decided to arrive and, being a lover of the cold, I’m a very happy gal. I’m still in bed having slept in after a disturbed night and my beautiful husband is downstairs getting breakfast for us.

My legs don’t move in the mornings until my pain meds start to kick in, and even then I struggle with mobility and pain constantly throughout the day, due to my the non-healing breaks in my femurs and feet as a result of my rare disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis also plays a big part in causing constant pain in my hips, hands, neck and shoulders.

So while all is not good, there is definitely something “good” to start my mornings. I feel very spoiled to have breakfast in bed every day delivered on a lovely tray. It’s a special bonus found in a chronic situation.

There are other “good” things I enjoy every day. Some days they are a little harder to find but they are always there…I just have to look for them.

I enjoy my home. I enjoy pottering in it. I enjoy my soft furnishings and the pretty uplifting areas I’ve created to provide places to rest comfortably and renew my strength. It’s my sanctuary.

I love my online forum and conversing every day with others who truly understand what it’s like living with chronic and complex disease. I love that I have the time to invest in this community and administer it in a way that makes it a safe place for others. I also enjoy actively being involved as a member of a couple of other select online forums.

I love being able to muse and write when moments of inspiration arrive.

I love listening to music. I love singing.

I love watching my favorite TV shows at lunchtime and during my late afternoon rest period.

I love the relative freedom that has come with medical retirement. I obviously miss my work and good health, but I am so relieved to not have undue pressures that I just could no longer physically cope with.

The more I look, the more I find the good in every day.

My list could be expanded but I’m going to stop and enjoy one of the things I really love…my late morning coffee!!

What little bonuses do you enjoy as a result of your chronic illness? You might be surprised to find what good things have been added to your life as a result of chronic illness when you stop to think about that question.

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum Medical Musings with Friends. It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via evgenyatamanenko.

24
24
0
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

How Getting Two Bacterial Infections Abroad Changed My Life

9
9
0

Rewind two years and meet Kate – an adventurous, social and confident (maybe too confident) 20-year-old student and retail worker living in full health and happiness. For as long as I could remember I’d been bursting to leave my home in southeast Australia and learn everything I could about the world. Mid-2015 I packed my bags and moved to South Africa to start 12 months of study and work in Africa and Asia. I spent five crazy months running around Southern Africa – from sand-boarding and skydiving in Namibia, to safaris in Botswana and Zimbabwe, to playing with lions in Johannesburg. If I wasn’t traveling, you’d find me at a club or party with friends, dating a new guy, playing sports or scrambling to finish my study while nursing a hangover.

woman traveling through the desert in Namibia

I’d heard a handful of stories about people getting incredibly sick while traveling, but didn’t read too much into it. I was well prepared with emergency medication, received all my vaccinations, had a comprehensive travel insurance and even signed up for a South African healthcare policy just in case. I didn’t think for a second I would be one of those unlucky people who lose their health abroad. It wasn’t until I was six months into my trip and had just relocated to Indonesia to start an internship at a TV station that I realized something was wrong. My stomach had slowly started to struggle processing food.

At first, I thought it was common traveler’s diarrhea, or a reaction to all the excessive eating and drinking I’d been doing. I didn’t think it was going to get worse. I didn’t have time for it to get worse. I spent the next two months trying to balance working full-time with learning a new language, making friends and settling into a foreign environment while in a constant state of nausea, severe pain and daily gastro symptoms.

I’d been to several doctors, in different hospitals, clinics and even countries. Every single test I had done came back negative. The doctors either told me I was perfectly fine, depressed or probably had some kind of terminal disease. Most nights I was lucky to get a few hours of sleep. I slowly became more distressed. Alone in the unforgiving non-English speaking city of Jakarta (the traffic capital of the world) was not the place to be. Other students and mentors on the program didn’t have time to help or support me. And given they didn’t really know me and had their own busy schedules, I could hardly blame them. Even I didn’t understand how sick I really was.

 

My symptoms got more severe and extended to gynecological problems. I had severe abdominal pain and hadn’t had my period in months but certainly wasn’t pregnant (dating wasn’t exactly an option). I stuck it out until the end of my internship then made the quick decision to fly home to Australia to get medical advice before starting the next semester of study in Malaysia. My insurance company agreed to cover my flight home and my university said they’d hold my generous study scholarship for up to six months if I needed. I thought I’d be home for a week or two and head right back. Boy was I wrong.

It didn’t take long at all to get into a great doctor experienced with unusual travel bugs. Australia has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and was a huge relief compared to where I had come from. I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection called Aeromonas, most likely contracted from swimming in a contaminated water source in Africa (my guess, a lagoon in Mozambique). Didn’t know you could get sick from swimming? Never heard of Aeromonas? Neither had I. Even Google doesn’t provide much information on that one. Similar to more common parasites like Giardia and easily treatable with just two antibiotic tablets. Problem solved right? Wrong.

I didn’t start feeling any better for about a month when I had a gynecological surgery. My gut function and period cycle started to settle and I was back to doing normal activities, like going to the gym, partying with friends and dating. My university had pulled my scholarship, despite assuring me it was secured. Mid-year they found some new funding and gave me back half the original amount and promised me work in the Abroad Department. It was disappointing, but it was enough to get me on a plane and back to (what I thought) was my normal, happy life abroad.

Mid-2016 and I’m back in Asia – one week in Bali (Indonesia) and a semester in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). It was important for me to go back to Indonesia and face my demons there. I wanted to replace the bad memories with good ones, and move on with my life. My intentions were pure, but reality wasn’t so good to me. Four days in (yes, only four), something was wrong. Surely, not again? Yes. Again.

I was relaxing in a private villa on the beautiful Gili Islands when I started vomiting. Bali is infamously known for “Bali Belly” (traveler’s diarrhea/vomiting), but I had been so careful in selecting food and drink I couldn’t believe I’d picked up a food bug. Its timing couldn’t have been worse. I had to chose between extending my stay on the island with little healthcare and limited access to the outside world, or braving a full day of travel to catch my flight to Malaysia. I knew Malaysia had better healthcare, so I chose the latter.

On the two-hour ferry back to mainland Bali I had one of the worst experiences of my life. I became severely dehydrated and lost consciousness. I have lots of stories from previous travels about the kindness of strangers when getting ill in public. This was not one of them. Not one person on the ferry full of tourists stopped to help me. It wasn’t until we got to land and a lovely Indonesian driver saw I was not doing so well, stopped what he was doing and drove me to hospital. A few hours of fluids and medication later I was discharged and he drove me to the airport where I somehow still managed to make my flight (miracle, right?).

Food poison finished, drama over? Right? Wrong again. It just keeps going. Like an endless nightmare. The next six weeks I spent settling into my new home in Kuala Lumpur. I had full-time study, internship work and lots of travel with old and new friends to do. Again, I didn’t have time to be sick. But I just wasn’t recovering from this new, mysterious bug. I could keep some food down but was mostly living off liquid food (hard to find in Malaysia). I was passing a lot of mucous and blood – two things I know to be “red flag symptoms” of serious digestive disease.

I did absolutely everything I could possibly do. I had learned a lot from my first experience. You’d be hard pressed to find someone more experienced in navigating travel insurance and healthcare systems in new countries. Most days I took a taxi to the other side of the city to go to the best hospital and see a specialized gastroenterologist (this took a while to find). I also kept in almost daily contact with doctors back in Australia through my travel insurance emergency line (super useful tool if you’re abroad!).

I tested positive for Salmonella – a common bacterial infection from bad food. While the bug is common, my reaction was not. Most people recover from Salmonella within a week. I tested positive weeks after I first got sick. I took two rounds of antibiotics and finally my tests come back negative. Great, right? Nope! It made no difference. I wasn’t getting better and with my specialist turning to more invasive and serious diagnostic procedures, I didn’t really have any other options but to pack my bags, quit uni, give back my scholarship and go home to have the support of Australia’s healthcare and my fantastic friends and family.

Here concludes the dramatic portion of my story, but like everyone with a chronic illness knows, diagnosis is only the start of your journey. It’s now mid-2017. One year later home and my diagnosis still isn’t completely clear. I’ve had a colonoscopy, hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. I’ve done every hydrogen breath test and had countless blood, urine and stool analyses. I’ve had eight different doctors and specialists and worked with two dietitians to try almost every single diet you could think of with limited success. I’ve watched my diagnosis change from gastritis, to ulcerative colitis, sorbitol intolerance, endometriosisanxiety and severe post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome and inflammation (where I’m at now). I’ve seen my weight drop and have lost the strength, energy and ability to do the sports I once loved. I’ve moved back in with my parents, quit working and finished only two uni subjects online in a year. I’ve watched my mental health deteriorate and faced deeper anxiety, depression and insomnia I thought existed.

woman holding up her shirt to reveal patches and monitors on her stomach

But I’ve also realized I’m one of the toughest people around. I’ve faced my greatest fears head on and haven’t been afraid to ask for help when I’ve needed it. I’ve learned to be assertive about my health and trust my instincts when I think someone is wrong. I’ve taught myself to look forward, not dwell on what happened and accept my new life as it is. So meet Kate – a smart, caring and independent 22-year-old occasional student and full-time health advocate and absolute champion. I hope she taught you something.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

9
9
0
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Real People. Real Stories.

8,000
CONTRIBUTORS
150 Million
READERS

We face disability, disease and mental illness together.