We talk a lot about being grateful, thankful, blessed, positive, and many other things that pertain to how “we” feel. I realized this morning that try as I may, I don’t always let the people who create these feelings in me, know how much they mean to me.

I truly appreciate every minute someone takes time out of their life to think of me. It could be a call, message, card, a joke, anything that makes me forget for one second what I’m dealing with at that moment.

My life would be a million times harder if it wasn’t for the people in my life who make me smile. Smiling is the best, laughter is even better.

For me in my darkest moments, a simple gesture can remind me why I fight. These little things give me the strength to remember who I am!

Who am I? I hope to never know 100% who I am. Learning & growing is a part of living & I like being alive! 😉

I believe my gifts are found in being a caregiver. I am a giver by nature. I take joy in seeing others smile. I especially like to make others find their smiles when I am struggling to find my own.

For these reasons I know what it’s like to want to show someone how much you appreciate them for all the things, they do for you. I don’t believe I’m as good at this as I’d like to be.

I am blessed to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people. In my darkest days, even that is not enough. But all of their “little” gestures shine a little light into the darkness & eventually I find myself feeling better.

Some days the battle between my mind, heart & body turns into a full-blown war. Try as I may, to be positive and strong, I have to submit to feel what screams to be felt and wait for the darkness to pass.

On these days, the “little” things are appreciated beyond measure. The darkness is lonely & painful. I appreciate every single, tiny, little moment of light that is sent my way.

I’m not sure I could ever let people know how much these “little” things mean to me, to my survival, to my will to fight this disease.

I am determined to be better. I will show my appreciation to my husband who never fails to be there when I need him most, to my friends who know me well enough to see I’m in need, & to strangers who hold the door for me or smile while ringing up my groceries. I will be better.


When my husband Michael and I were married on April 20, 2002, we thought our lives would be perfect.

When I Still Believed in Fairytales

Within two years of being married, we bought our dream home and we had our son Jacob on February 15. 2004. My life seemed wonderful. I was loving my personal life and professional life as a 4th grade teacher. Then I turned 30 and my life changed, or as I often say,”turned into my personal Hell.”

My birth defects in my hips and spine were identified, surgeries began to pile up, and I was forced to retire. As the years progressed, I began to see specialists who had no idea what to do for me. Finally, I was identified as having many markers of hEDS, so they began treating me as if I do even though they can’t say indefinitely what I suffer from. They can’t explain why I swell, why my body turns colors, why my tissues eat themselves and bones refuse to heal. My perfect life I thought would be my happily ever after is gone. I have my sad moments, a lot and often. But instead of hiding and burning my head, I am happier to use my stories and strength to fight and educate others about living with a chronic illness. To join forces support one another, and look for answers.

Just Another Badass Warrior