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How ‘Five Feet Apart’ Reveals What Friendship Looks Like With Chronic Illness

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Have you ever seen the film, “Five Feet Apart?” If you haven’t, go now. And I mean run or dance, but don’t walk.

It is one of the most incredible films that displays living life with a rare disorder and/or chronic illness.

Sometimes I see similarities from my life portrayed so well in the movie. 

One of my very best friends has lupus and I have Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). You could say there’s always something interesting going on.

I met my friend at a mutual friends wedding four years ago, and it’s been like magic ever since.

We talk every single day. And when I can, I drive (and now fly) out to see her. In fact, she got married back in August. You bet I was there.

We’ve been through it all together: boyfriends, life changes, school and medical challenges.

A few years ago, I had a growth hormone provocative test, she had some testing, too. She sees many doctors, as do I. She gets medications through her port once a month, and I take nightly injections. I think you get the point.

In “Five Feet Apart,” you see the struggles the characters go through, but also their gifts. Each time someone has a surgery, their friend is there. And when one of them doesn’t want to do their regimen, the other one holds them accountable.

This is what life as two best friends with a chronic illness and a rare disorder look like. Sometimes, you have to be strong for the other. And other times, you show up in any way you can to make sure the other one pulls through, even on the hardest of days.

Being best friends with medical challenges has its up and downs. My goodness though, there are immeasurable amounts of beauty in the chaos. And I firmly believe that’s more of a gift than anyone will ever understand.

Original photo by author

Originally published: February 13, 2021
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