Thoughts from a Fellow IC Warrior
I am so excited to be a part of the announcement for a very special event!
This September the ICA will host its Annual Walk for an IC Cure in San Diego!
I was diagnosed with IC about ten years ago, and it changed my life. It changed my diet, my friends and personal life, sleep schedule and exercise routine, even my career to an extent. IC can be a huge obstacle to deal with every day. I was fortunate to have an incredible support system who helped me find wonderful doctors and the Interstitial Cystitis Association to assist me with the adjustment. When I saw the ICA announcement there would be a Winston-Salem Walk on the east coast this past April, I was ecstatic, and it met and surpassed my expectations!
Participating in the Walk gave me the opportunity to meet and speak with other warriors, supporters, and sponsors. The Holloman family, who coordinated with the ICA to host the Walk, gave a touching first-hand account of IC from both a warrior and a supporter’s perspective. Dr. Robert Evans, who has devoted his life’s work to research and helping IC patients, also contributed inspirational and encouraging words, as did many others. Sponsors attended and I was able to meet some of the founders of products that I am eternally grateful for and that have changed my life. For me personally, one of the greatest highlights was finally meeting another person my age with IC! Until the Walk I hadn’t met anyone in their 20’s with IC, and the chance to meet and share experiences and stories with someone who had such a similar experience with the disease was indescribable. Coming straight from a fellow warrior, this walk was invaluable and a truly heartwarming experience.
My family and friends who attended the Walk also found it very beneficial and comforting. IC isn’t just hard for the warriors, it affects family and friends, too. I think some of the hardest things for people supporting IC patients is wondering how they can truly help, comfort, and show they care. Having the opportunity to meet other people dealing with the same questions gives them a chance to gather new ideas, share experiences, and realize they also aren’t alone. The Walk radiated optimism and we all left with a sense of renewed hope and determination.
Successful relationships and marriages, career-oriented go-getters, people of all ages and personalities – all dealing with IC of varying degrees and intensity – is a side of this illness we don’t often see or hear about. Attending this Walk and having this incredible experience, seeing so many people determined to live their lives despite this illness, was the best “pep talk” anyone could ask for! Whether you are a supporter, sponsor, or warrior, I highly encourage you to attend!
And get excited – This September, for IC Awareness month, we want to try something even bigger! We challenge as many of you as possible to get in touch with the ICA and coordinate Walks in your area so we can have a nationwide Walk for an IC Cure! What better way to get involved and raise awareness! Look forward to seeing what we can accomplish!
Much love –