Words articulated cannot be taken back; they can be like a bullet which comes out of a gun in milliseconds and changes your life forever. Being told that you have a life-threatening, debilitating or chronic illness is one of the most devastating blows a person can take. Facing the great inevitable you are immediately thrust towards the steep side of a tall mountain where you have a choice to make. One perilous step further on the edge of the precipice could lead to imminent death. Becoming fearless however would entail majestically surveying the mountain including the monstrous surrounding area with hope and determination.
Heroism personifies individuals who have persevered through the unbearable light of being to become fearless after the fateful day they hear the following words:
MRI gives a definitive answer: "You have a complete spinal cord injury and the prognosis is for no motor or sensory function in the lowest sacral segment; you may never walk again. Keep fighting and be fearless until we find a cure."
Biopsy results: A doctor refuses to make eye contact and says, "There are bad lumps and good lumps; you have a bad lump. You have stage 1 grade 2 breast cancer. Keep fighting and be fearless until we find a cure."
A 10-year-old child suffers a diabetic Ketoacidosis attack (potentially life-threatening complication in patients with diabetes) and lab results reveal dangerously high blood glucose levels. The diagnosis: "You have Type 1 diabetes. Giving insulin injections for the rest of your life will be a necessity to survive. Accidentally injecting to much insulin before a meal will cause hypoglycemia and possibly death. Keep fighting and be fearless until we find a cure."
DaTscan imaging captures detailed images of the dopamine system and the cardinal symptoms of resting tremor and rigidity are present after a neurological examination. The neurologist states: "You have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. This disease has been affecting your movement, mood, cognition and is causing your sleep difficulties. Keep fighting and be fearless until we find a cure."
My personal life encompasses approximately 50,000 insulin injections as a Type 1 diabetic, a traumatic near-death auto accident caused by hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that left my car on the precipice and training a diabetic alert dog. These life experiences have given me strength and perspective to live a fearless life. Taking action regardless of others judgment, doing things in a maverick way like there's no tomorrow and the show of great resolve are prerequisites to becoming fearless. Facing adversity requires a fearless attitude that can carry over into all aspects of life.
Untold stories exist for many other diseases including but not limited to ALS, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis, Sickle Cell, AIDS and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Millions of Americans have their own unique, inspirational and thought provoking stories of fighting majestically on the precipice to conquer fear. Feeling the breath and influence of those confronted with becoming fearless on a daily basis captures the mystery and artistry of being alive. Tell everyone your story of courage and love, and inspire other survivors and supporters around the world.
"Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me." - Arianna Huffington