I was diagnosed with ITP in 2019 on my 35th birthday. A five-day stay in the hospital was not at all how I planned on spending my birthday – or the rest of my life. I think I was in denial after my diagnosis. I thought it was a fluke, just a one-time thing, and I wasn’t going to have any more problems. But then, nine months after my diagnosis, I relapsed. And so began my journey on the ITP rollercoaster.

ITP can be scary. In the past two years I have relapsed six times and been hospitalized four times. I feel like I went through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Some days I was really mad that this disease was changing my life, and other days I simply wondered, “why me?” I had some pretty dark times, and on top of the mental struggle I was dealing with, I also struggled physically with side effects of the medications I was taking.

Then one day I realized that life was going to continue. Whether I’m sick or not, the world keeps turning. I might as well enjoy it and stop being so scared. This past year I have really focused on embracing life and being present. I want to be able to support others who may be struggling with ITP, or those who need just a little bit of motivation.

I want to remind others that nobody should ever have to go through this alone, and there is always hope. Every day I hope for a better tomorrow. Every day I hope for remission. However, I’m not going let ITP stop me from living the life I want.

I have ITP... it doesn’t have me.