Remembering On My Birthday

On Monday I got to celebrate making it to another year. I turned 25 years old on October 9th and I was reminded once more of how lucky I have been to make it through it all. Birthdays have always been important to me and I don't take them for granted. 

But this Monday I spent a lot of time thinking about those I know who no longer get to celebrate their birthdays. Because of my illness, I have been surrounded by amazing people who unfortunately - were sick too... Some of them I got to meet before they passed, others I knew through blogs or my mom having connected with the parents. So for my birthday post, I'd like to say a little bit about each person in my life who has died from an illness of some kind. 

  • Linda, my older sister whom I never got to meet. You died just a few hours after open heart surgery... I grieve for the sister I never got to know. 
  • Olivia, I met you at Heart Camp. We were in each other's cabins for years and I loved getting to know you! Unfortunately we ended up going to two separate sessions as we got older and lost touch. I found out about your passing on Facebook and was heartbroken. 
  • Sonny, you were the first sick friend I made. I met you before I went off to heart camp. We met at PCH on their Children's Advisory Board. You died on your birthday... You were the first sick friend I lost at the young age of 10. 
  • Genie, I also knew you from heart camp. You were a few years older than me but we were in each other's cabins a few times. I wished and longed for you to be able to see a PH doctor when you told me you had the same disease as me... I was devastated to know that you had passed, wishing and thinking "Maybe she'd be alive if her PH had been treated..." 
  • Jasmine, you were the first person my age that I met who had PH. We went to the prom together at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital. I was so excited for you to get your much needed transplant and mourned for you and your family when you passed. 
  • Rebecca Joy - we met at a PH Conference and just clicked. We loved that we had the same first and middle name. You were hilarious and we had a blast. I miss you and wish I had gotten to spend more time with you. 
  • Lauren, I also met you at the PH Conference and I adored you. I thought you were a kind and wonderful girl who inspired me to keep on smiling. 
  • Dr. Tadano, my favorite orthodontist. I miss you deeply and will never forget you coming to visit me while I was so sick in 6th grade. 
  • Dr. Barst, you were the first PH specialist I ever met and you saved my life. I am forever grateful for all you did for me and I miss you everyday. 
  • Princess Faith, I knew you through our parents. You were such a sweet and beautiful little girl. The world isn't the same without you. 
  • Tambra, I met you because I went to heart camp with your wonderful daughter. We got back in touch when you started coming out to Arizona for medical treatment. There are still days when I think to myself "Oh I can't wait to tell Tambra this!" and then I remembered, you are no longer here. I miss you everyday. 
  • Liam, I didn't get the honor of meeting you. However I have met your beautiful family recently and I am in awe of the beautiful work they are doing in your honor. 
  • Nick and Kelly, I also didn't get the honor of meeting either of you but I have met your wonderful parents who have done and continue to do wonderful things in your names. It is because of both of you and your parents that I got to go to heart camp and have all these amazing experiences. Thank you. 
  • Hamza, I never got to meet you either. However our parents connected via Facebook, sharing our CHD battles with one another. I got the privilege of meeting your older sister Layla who is dedicated to making the medical field better - all because of you. 
To the loved ones of all of these people, please know that I think about you and your families often. On my birthday, I thought of each and every one of these people on the list. I can't imagine the pain that you must all go through during the days, weeks, months and years. But I want you to know, I haven't forgotten your loved ones or you. 

For those who have lost someone that I know nothing about, I think about you as well. Even if we've never talked and all you've done is read my blog, I think about you and your loved one. I may not know their names or yours - but you are in my heart. 

Know that not just on my birthday, I remember you all. But on this birthday especially I took some time to think of and remember your loved ones. I honored them on my birthday in my heart as I blew out my candle this year, remembering each of them and letting them know that I haven't forgotten and I never will. 



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My Life As A Chronically
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