Hey guys! Today’s WEGO Health Activist Writer Challenge prompt asks a very important question: why do you write about your health?
You guys know that my motivations for writing about my health have changed over the years. What began as a way to tell my weight-loss story and a way to stay accountable to my 150-lb weight loss then turned into much more as I became interested in food politics. Later, writing about my health became a way to deal, even subconsciously, with my eating disorder. Now – it’s a way for me to document what I believe to be my most important and meaningful transition: my shift from weight-focus to health focus.
So, while I initially began writing about my health because I thought I had the answers and wanted to share them, I now write because I realize I don’t have all the answers – but I have a message — an important one! Your health awaits you the moment you declare peace with your body. I feel like the world needs strong dissenters in the realm of health. At a time when you can’t move 5-feet without encountering someone or something with a staunch anti-obesity message, the world needs people to say, “hey! cut that shit out!” I realize that writing here publicly, while it has its cons including the occasional troll sipping on Haterade, has opened the path to health discoveries I may otherwise never have encountered. Had I not been writing here I doubt I would have been introduced to Green Mountain at Fox Run and eventually invited to stay there for a week, during which time I became steadfast in my support of HAES.
I also write about my health because in writing about me I truly hope to get outside of myself and outside of what can (and has at times) spiraled into an obsession about health. We all have our motives for caring about, and even being vehemently passionate about, health. But I hope to step outside of myself more and more.
I write about my health because while I can at times play the world’s tiniest violin for my trials and woes, I know that my issues, while not insignificant, are just one little piece in a giant puzzle of much more complex and insidious issues.
So. I would like to take the time to think about what health would mean to me if I were writing a blog documenting my not-even-one-year-old girl’s journey after being diagnosed with a rare and insidious brain tumor. Unfortunately, a friend of mine isn’t just thinking about that possibility, she’s doing it. Her daughter, Madeleine, who I’ve mentioned here before, is currently fighting for her life. So, my band-mates and I are doing what we can to raise awareness of her illness, and raise funds for her hospital bills. This is Madeleine’s story:
Madeleine was brought into this world on October 2, 2011. She was greeted by her loving parents, Jeff and Veronica and anxious big sister Annalise. In December 2011, Madeleine was admitted to Mattel Children’s Hospital at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with severe hydrocephalus, caused by a pineal gland tumor. She immediately underwent surgery to place a VP shunt in her head to relieve the pressure in her brain caused by the backup of cerebral fluid. The initial MRI also identified the size and shape of the tumor as too dangerous to remove at that time. A week later she underwent a biopsy surgery to determine the pathology of the disease. Her parents learned that what was initially thought to be consistent with a germ cell tumor is actually a very rare Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (AT/RT). Only 3 in every 1 million children are diagnosed each year around the world – Madeleine is one of the youngest children ever diagnosed with AT/RT.
If you would like to show your support for Madeleine, there are a number of ways you can:
- Follow her story via a blog written by her mom, here, and send your thoughts and prayers. You can also check out the “donations and fundraisers” tab, which lists events in the LA area that you can attend to show your support
- Purchase “Dear Madeleine,” a song my band and I wrote and produced, for $0.99 here – all proceeds of which go to Madeleine
- Purchase a t-shirt, shown below, here for $25.00, 100% of proceeds go directly to Madeleine.
I write here because I am incredibly fortunate to have a voice and a platform that can be shared with others whose health issues are much more dire than my own.
The Cranky One