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Gerry, a character in the movie Remember the Titans said, “When something unexpected comes, you gotta pick up and run with it.” I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in January 2010 and Gastritis in November 2009, all in the midst of a very important year in school. I continued to finish that year of school, and succeeded without many people knowing the poor state of my health. In 2010-2011, took a medical leave from school to plan my lifestyle for the rest of my life. My roommate suggested I start a blog to share my story. It didn’t take much thought to decide to make this blog a reality. I want this blog to be a written record of what I’ve been through – the pain, suffering, healing – everything that has happened to me over the years in my life. People daily share stories with me of how their stomachs are making them suffer. I want my story to inspire you and your loved ones to believe that healing is possible, and you can recover and find wellness in your life just like I have. I want to know your story – please post comments or email me and I will respond to you. Please join me in my journey towards a healthy, Crohn’s free, “wellness for life” Jen.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Swim For Your Life

I need inspiration to keep me going when I find myself struggling and losing my willpower. Along with being inspired from the fact that I need to stay on track in order to avoid medication, I find inspiration through the courage of others. Memoirs and documentaries are what keep me inspired, written by people suffering, people experiencing extreme hardships, people who find their inner strength and share their stories with others. People who write with such passion and emotion that I am drawn into their personal lives.

Dear Jack is a documentary that tugged a deep sense of pain and emotion within me during the movie. I am not normally an emotional person. I never cry during movies, and I never get emotionally tied into films that I watch. Andrew McMahon, the singer of bands Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin (my favourite bands who I still listen to on a regular basis), was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005. While undergoing treatment, Andrew filmed his journey and shared his thoughts and emotions throughout the process – his raw truth. He held nothing back. I look up to him as having an abundance of courage – I understand how it feels to share with the world very personal details about one’s health and feelings. I understand how it feels to be so vulnerable to the world. I watch his documentary Dear Jack, and feel his pain. I am completely inspired by him to continue sharing my stories with you. He is a fighter, and so am I. As he sings in his song Swim, “I’m not giving in,” I feel a deep connection with him and his song lyrics, and am thankful that he shared his story with the world in hopes that he could bring hope to people undergoing troublesome times.

I am constantly told that I am an inspiration by writing this blog. I am honoured to be told such things, but want you to know that I do not conjure my inspiration from thin air. I am inspired by memoirs, by people even stronger than me, who have suffered greatly and share their stories. Thank you, Andrew McMahon, for inspiring me tonight.

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