We have had some amazing experiences over the years. Marriage, graduating college, buying a house, traveling and bringing two special souls into our family. When I sit here and think about these milestones, blessings and experiences I cannot help be remember the challenges we have faced as a family as well.
If you had told me that 10 years into my marriage my husband would be facing a debilitating disease and further more a life changing surgery to cure this disease I would have never believed you. Let's face it, we never think that the medical issues or struggles will hit us. But it does.
We are thankful every day - multiple times a day - for Jeremy's health. Let me give a little background for those who may not know. Jeremy was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2009 and by January 2013 he had tried over a dozen medications, some super scary ones too, without any relief or remission and it was decided that it was time to remove that diseased colon for good. While it sounds easy, the fact is, this left him with a permanent ostomy bag. It was hard to except - for us all, but now that we have finally overcoming the surgery, the disease, the healing and the new normal we are thankful.
Over the years dealing with this disease was frustrating - we call it an invisible disease because most of the time Jeremy looked "normal" and healthy but the fact was - he was so sick. We won't go into details in this post but we left that disease with the courage to tell about his experience, an experience that most do not even put on their monitor of a disease that needs to be cured. But we also left that disease with the opportunity to give back. Jeremy was given a second chance to give back and we love that!
Twinkle and Jeremy had a lot in common - those invisible diseases will hand you pain and suffering that people cannot see or understand. Twinkle is using her abilities to become an advocate and drive awareness around chronic pain. I read her story and I was so inspired. She is just one of the amazing honorees from Bakken. All of the Bakken Invitation award honorees are passionate about using their second chance in order to give back to others who are not as fortunate as them. Those that are healthy can learn from these honorees and get inspired to give back.
"The Bakken Invitation is a global program that Medtronic Philanthropy launched in 2013 to connect and celebrate people who, with the help of medical technology, have overcome health challenges and are now selflessly giving back to their communities. The Bakken Invitation award is annually given to patients from the Bakken Invitation Community recognizing extraordinary accomplishment. The program is named after Medtronic co-founder, Earl Bakken. The Bakken Invitation promotes access to healthcare and inspires others to give back. The program was designed to highlight how when people have access to quality healthcare, they not only can successfully manage their own health condition, they can use their “extra life” to help others. The Bakken Invitation Award Honorees demonstrate that it can have social impact that reaches beyond just that person."
Through our experiences as a family who went through 4 years of medical struggle with an invisible disease we will continue to advocate for those diseases and make sure they are not forgotten. One of our favorite events to attend is a Colitis Walk in Denver - this walk brings awareness to our city and lets Jeremy really find his community.
Now it is your turn! Why do you give back to your community?
Enter to win a $100.00 Visa card
Follow the instructions below and you will be entered to win a $100.00 Visa card to use to give back to your community, great right!?!? I hope that you use it for something that is close to your heart but you can use the card in anyway you need.
Must be over 18 and live in the U.S. Winner will be selected March 18th
***Leave comment on this post, if you give back to your community and if you live with medical technology - INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS!