I can't begin to tell you how much your presentation opened my eyes today to so many precious gifts that I have been "too busy" to appreciate.
As I told you, I am a single mother. What I didn't tell you is that I have two sons that I raise alone, 14 and 12. One has ADHD and one has Asperger's. I was diagnosed with a rare disease last year called systemic scleroderma. I was terrified after my diagnosis because this can be a debiliatating, fatal disease. It causes your body to attack itself and heal itself, so to speak, by over producing scar tissue. In systemic cases like mine, it attacks internal organs. In my case, it is attacking my lungs causing pulmonary fibrosis, both of my lungs are hardening in the bottom of each lobe.
It is scary for me for so many reasons.
I take approx. 10 to 12 pills a day. One of which is an immuno suppresant that helps to slow down the rate in which my body produces collagen/scar tissue. I have been on steroids since my diagnosis, this is supposed to help with the intense joint pain I have everyday. Like Gina, our mission moment speaker this morning, I left an abusive marriage 10 years ago. I was working part time at the Y making $14k a year. I left with two young children, rented an apartment, worked my way up in the Y from a PT front desk person to the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO.
I bought a house almost 4 years ago - on my own, without child support. I did it - gave my kids the American dream. I have a lot of hard days but keep a smile on my face and keep going. Sometimes, that is harder to do than others.
You gave me a gift today - hope. The best I can do is say - from the bottom of my heart - Thank you.
I will never forget you and the gift you gave me and my family today.