I would like to introduce you to a wonderful woman with an amazing mission and vision. Her name is Cookie Hopper. Cookie lives with the same disease that our sweet Sara did, Ankylosing Spondylitis. Through the Ankylsoing Spondylities Association of America, Cookie became friends with people who understood her, and inspired her to do her part in helping people who are struggling with disease. She wanted to make her life with Ankylosing Spondylitis have a purpose.
One vision that she had, was to create a page called "The Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Our Sara, Gitz, face#038, was one of the people who inspired Cookie to create this page on
October 8, 2011. In Cookie's
words, adapted and taken from the Wego health blog...
"The reason I decided to make my vision a reality is because of two people. A young man by the name of Stuart who was on our support forum. A bright young man who had his whole life ahead of him and lost his battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis ... Then, I came across a young girl by the name of Sara who was dying. She had ankylosing spondylitis and was under hospice care. I read her blogs, watched her change the world from inside her home, bedridden and knew that I wanted to make an impact as strong as she had...
I knew the only way that people were ever going to take Ankylosing Spondylitis seriously was to understand the impact that this cruel invisible disease does to people. We suffer from the stigma of "you don’t look sick." I want people to know who is behind this invisible disease, who are living in pain, depression, and isolation. I want people to understand what it is like to live with a chronic disease and be invisible, even to the doctors treating you. I wanted to make sure that my lessons, hardships and understanding while living with this disease make a difference in someone’s life. I want to know that my life with this disease was not wasted. My goal is, when the day comes to meet my maker, I will know in my heart that I did the best I could to my ability to make a difference."
Cookie has a personal birthday wish this year and has asked me to share her wish with anyone that I thought would have an interest. So, the first people I thought of was all of you wonderful friends of our Gitz! If you are interested in reading more about Cookie's birthday wish, please click on the link below:
Thank you in advance for your continued love and prayers...and for Choosing JOY!
Much love and blessings to each of you from Sara's family!
P.S...Keep praying...we are working hard on publishing Sara's book! :)