Giving advocacy a new face
I'm Kaitlyn (Katy) Brennan, and I am 15 years old. This last year has been a wirlwind for me. I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Hemiplegic Migraines, POTS, CFS, and celiac disease. I have been in the ER for possible strokes. I have been unable to eat for months at a time. I have watched every joint in my body deteriorate to a dislocating mess. I have fallen apart. The thing about falling apart though is that you can only do one thing: be put back together. I started to do so this summer. I gave up on self loathing and my pity party, and I realized that it was time to make my life and my illnesses worth something.
The best idea I ever had was this may when I started writing. What started out as one article on The Mighty has grown into 26 articles on The Mighty plus 2 live feeds, 23 articles on The Odyssey, and being featured on Suffering The Silence, The Ehlers Danlos Society, and Invisible Disability Project. I have met hundreds of spoonies along the way, and above all I have kept fighting. I have put myself back together in a way that I never thought possible, and I have given myself a future. Now I see myself as a writer, as a journalist, as an advocate. I dream of one day being accepted into one of the top journalism schools (my first choice currently is University of Southern California) and learning how to continue to build up my name, my legacy, and my career as a writer. I do not let my illness define me, but I have allowed it to become a positive part of me. Sure, I have bad days like everyone else, but I have continued on my journey to rebuilding myself. I hope everyone can follow in my footsteps and spread awareness for their chronic illnesses. Tell your story, advocate for yourself, and above all keep pushing forward.