Lisa shares about a new illness advocate that you should know about
Awhile back I was browsing some of the videos on YouTube for those who live with chronic illness and this young woman, Kelly Fricke stood out. I started watching a video and got hooked. She spoke from the heart, was very warm–and real. Some videos she has on her perfect make up and “looks fine” but her words share just how much she knows about living with an invisible illness. Other videos, I teared up with her as she described her pain, wondering if she should head for the hospital.
This last month I am honored to have connected with Kelly and she will be our featured guest for our chat session today for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. She made a special video in honor of the week too that I am sure you can relate to.
I asked Kelly to share a little bit about herself.
She is 23 and has been sick for 10 years, a lot of the time being spent on trying to figure out what she had exactly. She says, “I’ve been quite a mystery with doctors, but I have been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gastritis, and suspected Endometriosis.”
How did she got started with the videos and how it has made a difference?
“I made my first video 2 years ago (in October!) and after that I just got hooked! I started blogging and reaching out every since! I do videos, posts, writing, to be the voice for those struggling with chronic illnesses. I originally started all this to help myself, but then soon realized that so many people were struggling and didn’t have the voice to stand up and say what they were feeling.
I remember being so scared in my room and not having anyone to talk to about the way I was feeling, and I don’t want anyone to ever feel like that. I want people to know that they are loved and that there is always hope. Doing all that I have done has helped me cope so much.”
I felt like I had no purpose when I lost so much in my life, but then I felt blessed because I realized that maybe this was my purpose after all. God uses our suffering to propel us to a new direction of victory! When something goes wrong, sometimes I smile and look up, because I know God is up to something!
“I hope that they can find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone, and always leave feeling renewed of hope and strength to get through another day,” she says. “I want them to understand that just because they are ill, doesn’t mean that they are worth any less than anyone else; If anything, they are more special, beautiful and deserving!
When I asked her why encouragement is so important when we are ill she replied, “I think it’s so easy to slip into depression, because you lose so much identity and self worth when things start to fall apart. If you are encouraged through your struggles, you tend to see the light of hope and have a different perspective about your suffering and pain.”
“Encouragement is such a key role in getting through the day with a chronic illness,” says Kelly. “Encouragement gives you that little push to keep going, even when you have no idea what the next step in your journey will be.”
I hope you will be blessed by Kelly’s video–and her heart–as I have been.