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Life Legacies and Turning 50

The half-century mark is coming up for me. When most think of birthdays as we get older we begin to dread the number looking back at us. For me, turning 50 means more…

Birthdays mean something more now

It is not something I am afraid to reach. I am going to be 9 years away from the age I watched my mother pass away from this world. She was only 59, young and full of life. That life was robbed because of complications of liver disease and various other health issues related to hepatitis C.

I have spent over 13 years now fighting the same disease that took my mom from me. I vowed to continue her legacy through my foundation. Reaching as many as I could and sharing our life story in hopes to lead others to be tested and cured.

Making it through trying times

I have lived in the dark fear of death, stopped dreaming of a future, failed an older regime of treatment for hep C, shed many tears of uncertainty. I have smiled when all I felt like doing was crying. I kept walking when my body was shouting out in pain to stop. I pushed the limits of my bodies capabilities to be at my children’s school functions. I faced stigma, harsh criticism and judgment all while doing my best to survive this disease that was supposed to take my life along with my mom’s.

However, hep C did not win the battle over my body. It did not rob me of precious time with my kids and those I love. It did not strip me of my dignity and passion. It did not stop me from achieving my goals, my visions for my foundation, or meeting incredible people around the world, both those fighting hep C and those advocating for its elimination. It may have slowed my steps some, but it did not stop me.

Facing 50 with a new perspective

Going into 50 is nothing compared to what I already faced in this lifetime. I am no longer afraid of dying, I am no longer allowing negative thoughts consume me daily. My life now, consists of dreaming of my future. What life will be in 10 years. For now, being cured, I am able to begin that new journey of discovering what lies before me, to regain that power over a deadly disease.

I earned every gray hair that is now streaking my head. I earned every wrinkle that lays on my face. When I look into that mirror, the woman looking back is a fighter, a woman who could have lost this battle but did not. A woman who refused to settle for NO. I am proud to stand before my birthday cake and say “I am happy, I am healthy, I am alive”. There is nothing more I could wish for other than sharing my life with the man I love and watch the lives of my children blossom into adulthood.

Life has come full circle, life continues, and life is GOOD! To you mom, I love and miss you, WE DID IT 🙂

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.