Nearly 80 percent of people affected by autoimmune diseases are women; other chronic illnesses, from fibromyalgia to migraine, disproportionately affect women too.

Living with these diseases, which cause debilitating pain, fatigue, and other quality-of-life-robbing symptoms, is hard on anyone. Now add raising children, caring for other family members, managing a career, being part of community groups, and trying to carve out time for a healthy lifestyle to the mix. It’s a wonder that most women with chronic illness manage to get out of bed every day, let alone do it with a smile, determination, and grit to keep on swimming despite the endless obstacles life manages to throw their way.

Women coping with chronic illness are the definition of strength and power. But even the most strong women need inspiration and motivation every now and then to get through those trying moments.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we hope these wise words will do just that.

On Standing Up for Yourself

On Facing Adversity

On Being Human

On Having Courage

On Being Your Own Person

On Keeping Your Power

On Knowing When to ‘Give Up’

On Perseverance

On Perspective

On Speaking Out

On Making a Difference

On the Power of Effort

On Not Being Self-Conscious

On Owning Your Story

On Our Personal ‘Magic’

On Making Lemonade

On Being Unique

On Not Waiting Your Turn

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