It’s been a while since I’ve really updated what’s going on in my life so I thought I’d fill everyone in! The past few months has been full of so many exciting things – and with the help of B12, I’ve been feeling amazing and was able to make them happen! I’m no longer taking B12 injections, as just taking the oral vitamins (5000mcg daily to be exact) has been doing the trick, and I have not had any serious fatigue since January.
With this renewed energy I’ve been able to really focus on my passions in life, which is writing, GBS awareness, and helping others and their families going through Guillain-Barre. I’ve been really focusing on my goals that I want to reach this year, and I’m feeling so excited about them now that I’m putting them into action. I work full time and we have three kids half the time, so finding the time to pursue these passions is difficult, but it’s important to me.
And you know you are on the right track when the opportunities to fulfill your passions seem to fall into your lap… in March I was given the opportunity to spread some awareness and speak at the University of Alberta – to a group of pharmacists this time. Majority of them had never heard of GBS before so it was a great opportunity for me to share my story and educate them on Guillain-Barre. They asked a ton of questions and I look forward to returning again next year!
My story has also been featured a ton the last few months, on Little Things again in January, in YEG Fitness in February, and will be on As Told By Women this Friday :). For those that don’t know, I will also be sharing my story at Patient Summit, which is a patient organized event the day after the symposium in San Diego in November. I’m super excited to attend my first US Conference and meet so many people that I’ve connected with over the years online! Please reach out to me if you are attending so we can connect!!
Right now I’m also in the process of helping the GBS Foundation of Canada organize a GBS/CIDP walk and roll in Calgary in May. Along with Jordan and our three kids, we will be walking and raising money in support of GBS and CIDP. If you are able to donate to our walk, please check out my most recent blog post here. The funds raised will go to the GBS Foundation for support and research, and every tiny little bit helps !!
In April, an incredible family that reached out to me on social media flew me to Phoenix to visit their 15 year old sister who is in the hospital currently battling a severe case of GBS (full paralysis and life support) – however I am happy to report that she is improving and will hopefully be off the ventilator soon! I got to spend 2 days in ICU with her, and I have to say as hard as it was being back in that environment, it felt good to be on the other side of the bed, helping where I could. It was also really neat to see the differences between Canadian and US healthcare. I was so impressed with this young girl’s attitude – she was laughing and smiling and cracking jokes the majority of the time, and I know that her attitude is going to take her far in her recovery. I’m so grateful to her family for all the generosity they showed me that weekend, and I hope my presence helped to show them that she is going to make it through all of this, and that there is life after GBS. Visiting patients in the hospital is hard, but its something that genuinely fills my soul, knowing that I am providing support to them and their family, in any way that I can. Its definitely something that I plan on doing a lot more often.
Unrelated to my GBS work, in February I started a new job over at my sister company – the job is relatively the same (I work in HR) but in a different building and working with new people. I was nervous to make the change as I was with my company for over 5 years, but its turning out to be a great decision for my career overall. In March, I also became an ambassador for FitFive Apparel and am helping promote their clothing line. FitFive was co-founded by a dear friend, and I am so very proud to support him in his business AND I absolutely love their clothes! As a collaborator, I am able to offer my followers 20% off their clothing- using the code #HOLLYFIT. If you are looking for some new clothing (men’s or women’s), be sure to check out their website : fitfiveapparel.com. and use the code!
An update on my book – as you all know I self-published “Happily Ever After” 5 years ago and it’s gone on to reach so many people, all over the world. I’d like to point out that I’ve done very minimal marketing of this book, in fact I have spent ZERO dollars to ever promote it so its level of success has been an incredible surprise to me. But I have been thinking about the book lately and how it’s helped so many people going through GBS, and I do want it to reach more. So one of the things that I am currently working on that I am so very excited to share, is that I am planning on releasing an audio book! Audio books are becoming more and more popular, AND I have a lot of followers that are hospitalized, paralyzed or simply unable to hold a book, so an audio book just really makes sense for the next step with it. Because I want to produce the best version possible, I’m currently in the process of editing my book and will be re-releasing it shortly. The story is by no means changing, I’m just making some edits here and there (I wrote this book when I was 27 years old and I can say now after going through it that my writing needed a lot of work!!), and it will also be getting a new cover 🙂 Speaking of my book, I’ve also started reading it to Casey as she is starting to really be interested in it! I hope that by reading it she realizes that although life is tough, the task ahead is never greater than the strength we have inside of us. And like I did, she can get through anything life throws at her!!
As you know, Jordan and I got engaged in December, but for the moment we are not planning a wedding – our focus this year will really be on our goals. I myself have a lot going on, as does he, so a wedding is just not high priority for us at this time. He has been expanding and growing his DJ company, which has been skyrocketing in business and success this year, and I couldn’t be any prouder of how hard he’s worked to get there. If you are in Alberta and looking for a DJ, definitely check out Nyquest Entertainment!
I’m feeling better than ever and have been killing it in the gym lately – I’ve slowed down on cardio and increased my weights, which has helped me gain more muscle and be much stronger. Fitness is such a huge part of my life now and I can’t ever imagine getting away from it. Its so much more than just physical – its just as much as mental thing as well. The gym has taught me about goals and the discipline it takes to reach them.
Goals are great and all, but they won’t go anywhere if you don’t make a plan and do the work needed to get there. It takes perseverance every single day. – Ask yourself what you are doing that day to bring yourself closer to your goal, and then make it happen!
I’m super excited about everything coming up this year, MOSTLY the audio version of the book and I can’t wait to share it with everyone once it’s done ! It’s something I’ve always thought of doing, and it feels amazing to be putting in the work to actually make it a reality. So stay tuned everyone! And as always, I have to say thank you to all of you, for your incredible love and support! Going through GBS was such a terrible thing to go through but where it’s brought me to now, and the people that I’ve connected with over the years because of it, has made it all worth it.