After years of being in pain and being exhausted, not being able to pick up my babies, after leaving behind my beloved career and being told it was all in my head, I was diagnosed with AS in 2013.
Despite the relief that came with the diagnosis, I was crushed in every way.
With support and some stubborn determination, I’ve been able to find relief, adjust, find the middle road and enough strength to kick my own AS most days.
Throughout my journey, which continues every day, there are people who never gave up on me, reminded me who I was when I forgot and felt more like I had failed then succeeded in life because of this AS. They inspired me to keep going. They are close friends and family, SAA, and my care team. Not everyone experiences this.
Because I have been so lucky to have been given back some things I never thought I’d have again, I decided to start an additional SAA support group on the Northside of Chicago to try and inspire other warriors to change their trajectory and improve their outcomes. I also wanted to work with the inspirational leaders fighting for us and pitch in to complement the great work going on in the existing Chicago support group.
Today, I am managing my AS with a biologic, a variety of exercises, ayurvedic principles, living in the moment, diet, positive psychology and smiles.
Like most people, and especially those with AS, I never know what tomorrow looks like, but I’m willing to take the chance to journey there and I hope you will join me.
Jill is married and lives in Evanston IL. She is the mother of two amazing and supportive girls. She loves music, going to concerts and dancing (albeit badly). She loves eating and traveling, meeting new people and listening to their stories. She works as a Sales Manager for a company specializing in products to troubleshoot and improve reliability on industrial assets.