Ten...heck even five years ago, I was in no place to be out in the open with my NF. I was still in serious denial about what was happening to and around me.
What I've come to realize is that the more I'm "out there", the more I come to accept my diagnosis - and even help others accept theirs. The key to creating a more positive outlook on my life with Neurofibromatosis was to become my own Advocate - to stand up for myself and my kids.
The Children's Tumor Foundation in Denver held the 6th Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Activity today. Bailey, Braden, and Brooklyn all attended with me, while Riley, Rachel and Riker spent the day rehearsing for our church Christmas Play next week. Rich, in his infinite wisdom, stayed home watching football - COWARD :)
What a wonderful turn out there was...and GREAT opportunity to continue to reach out to families affected by NF.
I met so many new people today, with all levels of NF. One woman and her daughter stuck out in particular. She talked about how long she had been receiving the CTF newsletter, but she had never gone to an event until today. Like me, she was prompted by her desire to give her daughter, who also has NF, an opportunity to relate to others her age with the disorder - to stop hiding at home and seek encouragement from others. What she didn't realize is that her presence was an encouragement to all of us as well.
When we as NF'ers stand out in the open, when we stand together, we can find the hope that seems so difficult to hold onto when we stay hidden behind closed doors.
In Thriving with Neurofibromatosis, I talk about having the right Attitude, and taking Action. Today, I did that, along with about 50 other people, and we had a blast. What can YOU do this week? Who can you encourage? Remember, the easiest way to cheer yourself up is to spread the cheer YOURSELF!