Donald Antrim, author of One Friday in April: A Story of Suicide and Survival, describes growing through suicidal illness by going to the hospital and staying. When nothing else worked, and after a call from the author David Foster Wallace, he consented to being treated with ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy), which he says was a miracle cure. He learned to have a high regard for doctors and hospitals, that we don’t do anything alone, and the value of patience — it took a long time to get better. His advice is to try not to be afraid of the hospital, to seek treatment if you need it, and rely on your friends and family.
Alexandra Capellini was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) when she was 7 and had her right leg amputated above-the-knee. She describes growing through it with the help of her family, her team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the other kids in the hospital. She learned about the power of selflessness and resilience through the experience. Her advice to others is to lean on those around you, and trust your support system. Also, be flexible with yourself and know that every day is a chance to reset how you’re thinking. She is presently a medical student studying to treat children with cancer.
Grow Through It: Health Issues & Illness and Loss & Grief
Joelle Wright-Terry, retired Detroit police officer and hospice chaplain, tells her story of surviving COVID and becoming a COVID widow. She grew through it by the grace of God. She learned how to trust in God, survive, and take over her husband’s business. She encourages everyone to take everyday as it comes and tell your loved ones you love them.
Caryn Anthony, author of the blog, Any Way the Wind Blows, describes caring for and working with her young adult son at every stage of his illness — when it was a chronic condition, a serious illness and finally in hospice care. She worked to separate her needs from his, advocated for him, but stepped back to allow him to lead.
Rikke Schmidt Kjaergaard, author of The Blink of an Eye, describes growing through a deadly bout of bacterial meningitis with the help of excellent doctors, her devoted family, and good luck. Her message is that every day counts, be there for each other, and do something for the greater good.