When you’re young you feel invincible. I felt invincible.

Then in one 10 second period, my whole life changes. I find out I have an incurable disease. A rare disease that not many people know about. I learn that it’s one of the most painful diseases a person can have. That it can drastically affect my appearance. That I’m never going to “beat” it or be healed. I will never take a victory lap for being disease free. I learn that my life will forever be changed. That my dreams will have to change. That my life expectancy has potentially just dropped dramatically. I learn that my fathers Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam, is most likely the cause.

I’m devastated, scared, sad, so many emotions all at once. I’m so alone, no matter how many loved ones are there for me, I am alone in this body. This body that will forever be my torture chamber. I am made aware of the fact that my future will mean always having to fight through pain, fatigue, limited mobility, and whatever else my body wants to throw at me. I have Systemic Sclerosis, also called Scleroderma. This is the new me…

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