Finding Strength in Hope

My niece is 17 years old and was diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome about 5 years ago. It took a long time to find a diagnosis for her. She was in and out of the emergency room and hospital for months before we got a diagnosis. We live in Arkansas and found a GI doctor in Philadelphia that would treat her. For three years we made the trip to Philadelphia in January. Betsy would be so sick and would lose so much weight that she would have to have a feeding tube.

This last year has been a better year for her. There have been several trips to the ER but no feeding tube or going to Philadelphia. HOPE is the symbol for CVS. I have a tattoo on my wrist that says HOPE, and now I received the Giving Key that says HOPE. Betsy is my hero. She is the strongest and toughest kid I know. I hope she continues to get better every year and every day. I wear my Giving Key proudly!!!!

With all that being said I had my pancreas removed in October 2015. Since this surgery I now have Gastropresis, which is associated with CVS. I now know how Betsy feels and the struggles she faces as she knows the same about me. I'm very close with my nieces, but Betsy and I have a special bond and connection. I hate the connection has to be this, but I believe it has made me a better aunt and a better person. I love you Betsy more than you will ever know.