Staying Optimistic

Every family has a story about a loved one who has had to deal with an acute or chronic illness. Sometimes it comes on unexpectedly and knocks you to the ground or it can have a gradual effect and get worse over time. Whatever the case, it sucks.

My family has had its fair share of getting a diagnosis. I had to learn quickly to become resilient like my mom when she was diagnosed with a rare illness, called Behcet’s disease.

We have faced cancer, e.coli, congestive heart failure and a traumatic brain injury, to name a few. When I say, “we have faced” it is because family, including friends come together when there is a crisis situation and begin to develop a support system for one another.

Instead of looking at the cup half empty, people need to find hope and optimism deep inside themselves.


As a child life specialist, I have worked with children and their families in some of the lowest times in their lives. The raw emotions are exposed, the break downs happen and even faith or hope are questioned. In these situations, people need to come together to show an enormous amount of unconditional love and support.

Currently, a close friend and mentor of mine is battling her own diagnosis with breast cancer. She is an educator and leader in the child life community. She worked many years with pediatric patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and ironically is receiving her own treatment there.


She is learning to lean on others for support. She is an inspiration by sharing her story of early diagnosis, treatment and staying optimistic.

I decided to start a team to walk in American Cancer Society Strides Against Breast Cancer NYC event. I am rallying people to come together to show their support to both Deb and thousands of others. I am looking forward to October 20th to see first hand the amount of people who are their in honor of themselves or someone else. It will truly be an exciting event.

When faced with a difficult situation, what have you done to stay optimistic?

Supporting a Friend’s Diagnosis with Breast Cancer

My Connection to Rare Disease Day

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