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I have been given a gift to share

I had an experience the other day I would like to share. THIS is an example of how the Dare to Thrive Retreat Program made me a better person. I walked in to a birthday party my son was invited to. It was a child in his class so I did not know the family. The beautiful woman who greeted me had, what seemed to me at the time, a pink ribbon tattooed on her calf. I immediately felt drawn to her. I introduced myself and mentioned her tattoo, which is a bit out of my comfort zone with newbies. She lifted up the rest of her capri leggings and showed me that it was it was ACTUALLY an orange MS ribbon. I asked her how she was feeling and if she is doing ok through everything. The look on her face told me that not too many people had asked her that. That woman and I talked for over an hour. Mainly her. I just listened. After so many small conversations about pain, family reactions, nutrition, sexual health (seriously!!!!), therapy and guilt… she finally asked me “how do you know all this?”. I told her I was a breast cancer survivor and I currently have Rheumatoid Arthritis, just like her. She got this look on her face and just hugged me. She said “so you know!!!! You know and have been through a lot of this. My daughter just doesn't understand- and she's so busy..."

You see, her family members do not live with the pain she does. And even though it wasn’t EXACTLY the same as mine, we connected on a level I could tell she hadn’t been on in a long time- even with family. That level of understanding. It feels so amazing to be listened to. That is what my thriver sisters do for me and I felt really proud of myself to do that for someone else.

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