For me, Tobi was the next step on my own journey to becoming a healthier person.
I come from a pretty close-knit family. Even though we lived all over the place, holidays and birthdays were more like family reunions with aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, and great grandparents all coming to the house from all over to celebrate.
Long before there were social media websites, there were trips to the pharmacy to develop pictures to send to the grandparents, phone calls to aunts and uncles to keep them up to date with how things are going at school, and cards and letters “just because.” When one of us celebrated, we all celebrated. When one of us had troubles, we all shared the burden.
So when I was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune condition in 2007 there was no question my family would be right with me the whole way. When I had to spend over six weeks in the hospital, my mom and dad took turns spending the night with me, sleeping on a cot next to my hospital bed. Out of town relatives took time off work to come and stay for days and weeks. My grandparents, a breast cancer survivor and a stroke patient, drove six hours through the night just to surprise me on the morning of a big procedure.
In all the time I spent in the hospital, there was not a single night I didn’t have someone there with me for strength and support. My family and friends continued to stay by my side as I traveled along a long road to recovery. I’m happy to say that today I’m healthy and doing great.
A lot of you are just like me. When you have big issues in your life you can always count on the people closest to you to be there for you and to help you. But I’ve come to learn that sometimes the path to being “healthy” isn’t about what happens to you during the big events, it’s about the choices you make and the things you do each and every day. It’s the decision you make to be more fit and active. With the strength of my own personal network of supporters I believe I am on the path to be my healthiest self, and with Tobi you can be as well!