Mom’s Letter to Oprah ….Every caretaker should read this

For awhile my daughter Karen and I did not know what her life’s purpose was. At 17, Karen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She has battled this disease for 30 years. There were times when she blamed it on me and she was angry. There were times when she made me cry. There were times when she was an invalid and couldn’t cut up her own food, bathe, or wipe herself after using the toilet. We lived through this together. Eventually, she found some medication to control her disease enough for her to become a teacher. One day, her grade two student noticed her crooked, bent fingers and her limp. He asked my daughter “why do your fingers stay bent like that?” She hid the reason. He asked again and again. Finally, Karen told her student why. His response, “now I know why you understand the kids in your class who can’t read, and the kids who can’t keep up.” From this day on Karen never complained about her excrutiatingly painful and debilitating disease. Instead, she has become the grass roots voice for millions of people around the world who have this unglamorous auto immune illness. Karen has lobbied the Australian Government for equal access for all Australians to get the medications they need, and she has written an award winning Australian memoir “Enemy Within”. Oprah, Karen’s life could have gone another way. But she found the courage to tell her story with brutal honesty so that she could stand up and make a difference. She has reached out and touched the hearts of all people who are trying to deal with their own enemy within no matter what that enemy is. For some, it maybe a battle with loneliness, for others it’s could be a loss, depression or maybe a battle with weight; no matter what the enemy is her book has helped to give hope to her readers. For this reason, my daughter is my hero and she is a hero to many. Karen’s life’s purpose is to help others to always have hope.