What does it mean to be a warrior? Today, I’m joined by Mackenzie, a 22-year old nursing student who embodies this term like no other. Battling Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis since age 13, Mackenzie navigates the daily struggles of her own disease, while also being a champion for her son Josiah, who has Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome, and her mother, who is fighting Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. She offers a candid insight into the complexities of their journeys, from the agonizing search for a diagnosis to the treatments they undergo.
Have you ever felt unheard or misunderstood in a doctor’s office? Mackenzie knows this feeling all too well, and she’s here to emphasize the importance of standing up for yourself and your loved ones. She shares her thoughts on advocating for early detection tests for autoimmune and autoinflammatory markers at birth – a simple measure that she believes could spare others from undue suffering.
Lastly, let’s delve into Mackenzie’s resilience kit, her ‘Spoonie Toolkit,’ and how she maintains a positive outlook despite the trials she faces. We touch on the reality of parenting children with special needs, the invaluable importance of support, and maintaining a good attitude, no matter what. Whether you’re personally affected by chronic illness or not, this conversation with Mackenzie is sure to inspire and motivate you to face life’s battles with grit and grace.