High school and college years are challenging enough without throwing a chronic illness into the mix. It is during these years that you are branching out, learning more about yourself, experiencing new things, making new friendships, and creating a path to your career, relationships and more. For anyone, it can be a time filled with anticipation, excitement, stress, tears, fears and more. (And we didn’t even touch on the hormonal changes that are happening during this time!)
Now…throw in a chronic illness diagnosis and learning how to cope with an entirely new way of life and you really have your hands full. So, how can you thrive during these tender and unique years while also managing your health?
Well, we have two incredible young women here to share their personal stories. Gracie Gillardi really digs into building an incredible support system and how opening up and being transparent with those around her actually went better than she expected – they listened, were compassionate, and helped her during some very trying times. And Dana Valetti shares her personal story of getting misdiagnosed before learning she had lupus, and how important it is to advocate for yourself when you know something isn’t feeling right in your body. Plus, she shares tips on using accommodations and resources available through your school to help take some of the pressure off – key when dealing with an autoimmune disease!
Check out the video below, which is part of the TILLY series from The Lupus Foundation of New England (www.lfne.org), and hosted by LupusChick founder, Marisa Zeppieri: