Words of Help From a Friend We’ve Never Met – Until We Do | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Words of Help From a Friend We’ve Never Met – Until We Do

Leslie and DaveIsn’t life full of special coincidences? Some even call them “God-incidences.” Circumstances show know that life is not all random, but the right words are often there at the right time – no matter when they were written.

A couple of special coincidences occurred in February when I was in Washington. As my friend Leslie and I took off from Orlando, I got a text message from my friend Dave deBronkart that he’d gotten an earlier flight to D.C. and, we’d arrive to the same airport only an hour apart! When Leslie and I got to the baggage area, my cell phone buzzed with a text that Dave’s plane had landed even earlier so we decided to join up and share a cab. We stashed our luggage at the hotel and went for coffee (ok, I got juice).

Dave and Leslie hit it off, and I don’t know why I was surprised. Only because Dave is over six foot, an MIT graduate, and world-traveled public speaker, and Leslie is a petite, quiet wallflower who didn’t go to college. But, they’re both exceptionally bright, creative, and dear friends. Leslie is the one true friend who stayed by my side when the Rheumatoid disease stole so much; since she knew the old me, there was never a doubt or accusation that my illness wasn’t real. Each of them has been an astonishing encouragement in my life over the past few years.

That day in the lobby, the conversation turned to attention deficit disorder (ADD), and what it is or isn’t, and that they both have it, whatever “it” is. In an extraordinary twist we realized that twenty years ago Dave helped to write the very book that had been so valuable to some in Leslie’s family. The book by Thom Hartmann is about the “Hunter/Farmer Hypothesis.”

Dave deBronkart autographing bookThat night, Leslie and I found one copy of the book online and bought it. The next three days were full with the Institute of Medicine event, and meetings at PCORI. Then, Leslie got a message that the book had arrived – there was just enough time to get to our hotel lobby for Dave to autograph the book while his cab waited, and then rush to catch his plane.

The whole turn of events astounded me. How validated my dearest friend and others in her family had been by the words in a book written long before she knew about it – and all thanks to my other friend.

Postblog: Another book – time warp – validation story

Researching last month, I stumbled across a sixty-year-old book about Rheumatoid disease, by someone who would know – a patient. Through this difficult week, I’ve felt like I’m not alone, as I read so many parallels to my own experiences. The author is a friend I never met.

I’ll review the book soon and tell you more about it.

NOTE: Dave has a new book, Let Patient’s Help – here’s the link.

Recommended reading

Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

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2 thoughts on “Words of Help From a Friend We’ve Never Met – Until We Do

  • May 2, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    “Words of Help from a Friend We’ve Never Met – Until We Do”

    I know that applies to me and why I’m here. Probably a lot of others feel the same.

  • May 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve met some amazing people because of my disease.


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