When you are in the throes of the daily grind, it is easy to forget what a blessing and privilege it is to be able to live in the throes of life. No one’s next minute is ever promised. My work is a daily reminder of how fragile, miraculous, and delicate life is. Each breath is truly a gift. It is an honor to work with people as an advocate. I’m grateful for the physicians, nurses, and members of the healthcare system that truly care and push to make a difference in people’s lives. I’m grateful for the incredible network and community of passionate people I have been fortunate to become surrounded and supported by. I’m grateful for the many new opportunities that were extended to me in 2018, the chance to speak and elevate the patient and carepartner’s voice, the chance to travel and immerse myself at conferences, learn new things, meet new people. I’m grateful for the support of the many written pieces I was able to publish this year, the conversations that ensued, the disagreements that followed. Making connections and fostering conversations with broad spectrums of opinions is something I hope to continue to do. It’s within these conversations that change can spark, connections can be made. I’m grateful for every piece of criticism I’ve received, no matter how harsh, as each word has challenged me to dig deeper to confirm my position is credible, challenged me to contemplate and learn more, or challenged me to build even thicker skin. I’m grateful for my family who supports me as I work to do what I believe will make a difference in healthcare. It’s not all patient advocacy, there is a life at home that needs me just as much and most days, even more. My heart aches for those who aren’t healthy, who are struggling with metastatic disease, who are alone, who have lost a loved one this year. I pray for strength to carry them through this Thanksgiving.

As I have my coffee this morning, listening to my children giggling and laughing in the background, in a home that is filled with the aroma of pumpkin cupcakes that are finishing in the oven, I’m eternally grateful and count all of my blessings. My wish for all of you is the happiest of Thanksgivings. May everything that brings you joy, love, happiness, & warmth be near & in sight, today & always.