My Readers Inspire Me

And this is why I wrote my book ……My readers inspire me.

Dear Miss Ager,

You likely don’t remember me, I was a student at St. Lukes from 1990-1996. A friend of mine told me that you had written a book and that I should read it and I can say that your book has helped me gain some perspective of my own health battles.

2 years ago at age 24 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. After 2 serious relapses I knew the diagnosis was imminent but it still didn’t make dealing with it any easier. Even now, I’m still struggling with accepting that I have a chronic disease that is extremely unpredictable and could cut me down without a moments notice. I often find that I can’t put into words how I feel and this makes it hard to get my thoughts out and deal with my issues. The most important message I got from your book is that I’m not alone in my struggles and that I have the power to shape my own destiny. I can either choose to let it win or I can fight back and make my life great! I’ve decided to choose the latter :) .

After completing the HSC I went to the University of Technology, Sydney. During this time at University I would notice that I had strange pains and increasing fatigue for no particular reason. Being young, I just put it down to indigestion and the stress of studying, but in hindsight I should have gone to the doctor. Once I graduated I decided to spend a year in Canada to work and travel and loved every minute of it! 6 months into my job I lost sight in my right eye and was diagnosed with optic neuritis. This was my disease rearing its ugly head. Fortunately after 3 days of prednisone my sight was restored. 11 months to the day after the optic neuritis I lost all feeling from my left foot all the way to under my left breast. As I crawled into my doctor’s office I knew the news wasn’t good. This time it took 5 days of prednisone but eventually the feeling came back. With this relapse came the official diagnosis and I was put on to immunotherapy which consists of daily injections. Thankfully I have not had a major relapse since but have had a few minor ones.

In 2009 I made the decision (with my doctor’s blessing) to move back to Toronto and take up a job opportunity with Macquarie. I left Sydney in May of ’09 and am still here in my apartment at Yonge & Bloor! I have fallen in love with Toronto the way that you fell in love with New York and really feel that this is where I am meant to be. I can only hope that I can find my prince charming while I’m over here…lol. I am active within the advocacy community and with Macquarie’s support have raised over $6000 in the last 18 months.

I just felt the urge to write to you and share my story as soon as I put your book down. Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts, struggles and triumphs down on paper and to share with the world. I am inspired by your story and look forward to reading of your future adventures. If you ever find yourself in Toronto I would love to say hi and thank you in person.

All the best
Amanda