Hope from the Darkest of Diagnoses

Most people who have heard of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), we probably imagine a grandparent with their oxygen tank on a little cart and nasal tubes hooked over his/her ears. However, one young Canadian lady is a living example of why this image is not the end-all when it comes to IPF.

Charlene Marshall writes a personal blog as a means of raising awareness and communicating to the world what it is like to be young with a terminal disease.

While it would be easy to imagine the enormity of the situation pushing a 20-something seeking her master’s degree into depression or denial, a recent post demonstrates Miss Marshall’s unique character.

In one post, she ponders whether she feels unlucky to get an IPF diagnosis nearly 40 years before most people are diagnosed. Remarkably, she chooses to look at the situation in about the most optimistic way possible.

She considers herself lucky that she was diagnosed because of the reactions of the people in her life.

It is easy for us to get bogged down in our everyday lives and allow stress or disappointment in one area to affect us in other areas. We are short with people who did not cause us to be upset. We let a flippant remark anger us to unreasonable degrees because of something else entirely.

But Miss Marshall gets to see the best in people. They take time out of their days to be with her. They spend time, their most valuable commodity, with her to chat or help around the house or even to walk her dog when she just cannot do it herself.

She is lucky that she can see this. She got this special insight into life because of something most people would see as unlucky. Seeing this optimism puts the rest of our trifles into sharp contrast.

Maybe the next time we feel unlucky, we should remember Charlene Marshall and try to follow her example. Visit Charlene’s blog to learn more about her journey.


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