We Can Too!
“When the heart grieves over what is lost,
the spirit rejoices over what it has left.”
~ Epigram, Sufi
That quote is so true to many things that happen in life, death, marriages, careers, and health in which all can be affected by Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Sara was one of the most remarkable people I have ever had the honor of learning about; I never had the pleasure to get to know her, because when I became aware of her, she had just started her journey with Hospice and going home. She had the same disease that I do, Ankylosing Spondylitis. I spent days, hour after hour, reading her blog, I became obsessed to learn as much as I could about a woman who decided to Choose Joy. The message she spread around the world was simple, Choose Joy and be thankful for every blessing no matter how big or small. I grieved right alongside her family, friends and the AS community, in spirit but grieved I did. September 24, 2013 will be the one year anniversary of her passing.
I found it a great injustice that this remarkable young lady would not be able to live her life as it was intended for her to, because of having a disease that is not rare, but just unrecognized in the medical field. This disease has been around for a long time, and it affects close to 2, 700, 000 people and there is absolutely NO REASON, that this disease is not more widely known or being focused on more, or making more advancements than it has.
I was so touched at her ability from inside her little apartment, housebound, that she could touch the world, that she as ONE PERSON could make such an impact on so many people, that a day doesn’t go by that she is not mentioned among us or thought of.
She is the one who gave me the courage to try and make a difference in the AS community and raise as much awareness as I could possibly do for Ankylosing Spondylitis. I thought to myself if she can make that big of a difference then I can also, and I won’t stop till I do.
I just didn’t know how or what I was going to do. All I knew was that I was sick and tired of being brushed off by society, the medical field, the research and the world to be thought of as only a back ache. I was tired of a disease affecting so many people in such devastating ways, that they were losing their battle against an unknown enemy. Two young people in our society lost their lives due to Ankylosing Spondylitis Stuart and Sara, and no telling how many others we will never know about.
Whether anyone wants to acknowledge it or not, Ankylosing spondylitis can cause death, it causes people to commit suicide, to give up fighting this disease or complications due to medications or the disease itself. They may never find a cure, or may never know more than they know at this moment in time, but what if somewhere among all our stories and our lives with Ankylosing Spondylitis we held the key?
I have always believed that everything you do in life has a bigger impact on the world than you believe or could ever imagine. Everything in our lives was the thought or action of one person’s dream, thought or idea. I have witness magnificent changes in the world do to one person’s idea and continue to do so.
Help us make a difference in bringing Ankylosing Spondylitis to the forefront of the awareness program and make sure that those diagnosed in the future will not suffer as hard as those of us in the past have.
I want to thank Kevin Andrews publically and personally for having the courage to show the world how Ankylosing Spondylitis has affected him. I want to thank each and every one of you who have submitted your story, who have shared this website and all that you are doing to make a difference concerning Ankylosing Spondyliis.
We all have the power to make a difference, we just have to step forward and do it.
To date we have 616 Faces, 406 women, 210 men, 17 of these being youths. We have stories from all over the world, and people reading from all over the world. We have Ankylosing Spondylitis societies around the world sharing our work, to bring more people aware. We have over 271, 367 views at this time.
Oct. 8. 2012 will be the one year anniversary of The Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis and that is the day that I hope I can say… we reached our goal of 1000 Stories.
We only have 384 Faces more to go, it can be done, but I can’t do it without your help. Please help us do this. Your picture with or without your story goes to Cookiehasas@aol.com Everyone who submits for this project is given a I am the face of ankylosing spondylitis wristband https://thefacesofankylosingspondylitis.com/a-s-faces-wristband/ as a gift of gratitude from me.
I look forward to adding you soon. Thank you all for everything Sincerely Cookie