Where poets, writers & artists won’t let chronic illness stand in the way of creativity
Mighty Heroes, Chronic Garden, and Barking Out Loud (BOL)
Welcome to Poet’s Corner (& Artists too) ~ Issue #28
From Our Editor:
We are featuring a very special person, who is a friend to so many in the arthritis community. Christine Schwab is the founder of Christine’s Kids, where the focus is on positivity and hope, and also a featured blogger for CreakyJoints. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Christine, as my helper Trevor, is Christine’s Kids official MASCOT, where he offers encouragement to all of the JA or JRA Superheroes. Each week, Christine features a special Superhero and the stories are so inspiring. Here is the link to her Facebook page, where you can check out all of these inspiring stories of awareness and hope: www.facebook.com/pages/Christines-Kids/218905234862177
Again, if you live with a chronic illness and enjoy creativity, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
I hope you enjoy, this special issue.
In this issue:
The Essence of Christine’s Kids (Blog by Christine Schwab)
Australian Garden (Chalk on paper by Trish Dyne)
Chronic Garden- Friendships made in illness and pain (Poetry by Trish Dyne)
Trevor’s Message to Christine’s Kids (Photograph and message by Brenda Kleinsasser)
Editor’s Note: Christine Schwab ~ Our special guest shares the essence of Christine’s Kids and shares a very special tribute to one of the Superheroes, who represents the trials and triumphs of all those ‘Mighty Heroes’ fighting every day. Here is Christine, in her own words:
I lived as an adult with Rheumatoid Arthritis for 20 years before I knew that babies, kids and teenagers got this disease. My only frame of reference was watching arthritis telethons with my mom when I was a child. So when I was diagnosed at the age of 40 with RA, I cried, thinking I too would be one of those telethon crippled people. But my doctor at UCLA was all about preventing damage as we waited for the “new, exciting medicines coming in the research pipeline.” After seven years and failing every medicine available to me I went into a research program for the very first Biologic and my joints went into remission. Because I had my life back I decided to write a book about my JA journey and in doing so I learned that arthritis knows no age barriers. The more I read about the kids, the more I knew it was time for me to use my voice and my writing to create awareness and help make a difference.Every story I heard made the word “Superhero” stick in my head until I decided to start a Facebook page called “Christine’s Kids and share these Superhero stories. And every week since I have posted a new Superhero with their story. The response has been amazing, up to 26,000 people viewing the page some weeks! Families reaching out to each other. Kids and teens finding out that they are not alone. We have become a gigantic, international family of hope and positivity.
We share experiences, the good, the tough, and the terrible journey of living with JA on the FB page. One of these Superheroes is Wesley Goss. His story was just one struggle after another and yet that incredible smile and optimism and bravery kept shining through. Wesley is a great example of attitude and determination and now he shares his journey on a semi-regular basis on Christine’s Kids as one of our contributors. Our friends and viewers have grown to know and love him as they follow his journey.
People ask me why the kids? What’s the connection of a fashion and lifestyle reporter on television to JA Kids? And the answer is easy. I have and continue to live with this disease. I had a tough childhood growing up in foster homes. I never felt that I fit in. I was different. Nobody understood. So when I met the JA kids I understood their journey. They too are different, they too don’t always fit in. They are misunderstood. It was like the perfect match. I have a voice, I understand them, and they share their JA journeys with photos and words. Powerful, heartfelt words that touch every heart that reads them and inspires every family and child that lives with this struggle.I work for a cure, but in the meantime my daily goal is very basic.
“Everyday I try to remind a child who believes that they can’t achieve their goals that they will find a way.”
And when you visit Christine’s Kids you will understand that these brave Superheroes are finding their way.
Here is a video from Christine’s Kids: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds1sVc85QtM
Editor’s Note: Trish Dyne ~ In her own words:
I have entered several pieces over the years for chronic illness and disability exhibitions, most recently “Connections” in November 2014.
I have started drawing and writing since becoming ill 8 years ago, and being diagnosed with several Auto Immune Diseases.
Prior to medical retirement I was a Project Manager and Director in I.T. and 3rd year Law student.
I am no longer able to study or work and my husband is now my full time carer.
Trish also shares some poetry with us:
Chronic Garden – Friendships made in illness and pain
Though the roses be open and slowly fading away
though the years be shorter and harder each day
True friendship and love never shatters or breaks
its roots grow deeper the longer it takes
though some petals may be lost, blown and dropped to the ground
the ones that are left add their own beauty around
though at times fragile and delicate and wilt with the heat
and under our petals lay thorns at our feet
We can not change our place, wherever it be
but a rose can still grow with beauty for everyone to see.
Sunday 15th February, 2015
Brenda on Brenda: Trevor, is going to share what being a Mascot for Christine’s Kids means to him. I am so happy to be working with Christine in this capacity. Here is Trevor, in his own words:
I love being a Mascot for Christine’s Kids, because I see the hope and courage that each of these “Mighty Heroes’ possess. Their lives are not easy by any means, but I know they fight hard every day, to be the best they can be. I try to encourage them as much as I can, by offering my Barks of Gold. Christine was kind enough to send me a cap, that I wear proudly.Brenda will tell you, that I never take it off. BOL
So, I hope you enjoy what I have to share and come on over to Christine’s Kids page on Facebook and check it out. I am so dog gone proud to be doing this work, that I know Christine and Brenda are very passionate about also. It’s all for the JA or JRA heroes. I salute, every last one of them. ~Trevor, your MASCOT~
Next month, we will be featuring a Sports & Activities issue. Real people living with chronic illnesses, who do not let that stop them from what they love to do.