It all started almost three years ago in the late fall of 2012. My phone had reached its last leg and completely died on me. My contract was up soon, so I knew I’d be able to get a new phone within a couple weeks, but I was still pretty sad about it. My phone was my connection to others and the outside world. It was a way that I was able to find support and help from my friends and family when I was at my lowest.

Born with a chronic gastrointestinal (stomach) disease I was constantly fighting a daily battle to keep my spirits up and not succumb to the thoughts and emotions that always threatened to overwhelm me. Texting was like a lifeline for me. It made me realize I wasn’t alone and there were people out there who loved and cared for me. Texting began to mean so much to me that I would get sad when people never responded to my text. I would want to keep a conversation going, but eventually it would die out with most people.

So when my phone died I was crushed. Not only did I not have a working phone, I had lost all the contacts and pictures I had on my phone. I didn’t have a smartphone so when it died, it died completely. There wasn’t any means to recover the information I had on it. I couldn’t reboot it or extract any data from the phone. So when I got my new phone, as a last ditch effort, I posted a message on facebook explaining my plight and asking people to text me their name so I could rebuild my contacts.  

Many people texted me, but a former high school classmate, Meghan Neary, stood out. She not only texted me that day, but continued to text me daily as the days turned to months and the months to years, she never stopped texting me and still does to this day.

I know you may think that a text isn’t that much, but let me tell you it does mean a lot. When you have to fight a daily battle for your life. When you have to battle discouragement, pain, nausea and depression every day, those little things make the difference. When you feel like you’re alone in this world, a simple text reminds you that you aren’t. When you’re sitting in the hospital bored out of your mind a text is like a ray of sunshine piercing through a dark cloud. When you want to give up a text can remind you to keep fighting.

As the years passed Meghan and I grew closer. Closer than we'd ever been in highschool. Twice she saved up her money so she could fly out and visit me. Twice she brought even more sunshine into my life. The first trip she planned I knew all about and it was a blast. The second trip she planned as a surprise and what a surprise it was.

I had been at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN for a month. I had gone through rigorous testing, a couple procedures and a surgery. It had been a long month. However, through that month Meghan had texted me. She had listened to me vent, encouraged me through tests that were excruciating and shared in my excitement when I had a news interview there. She rejoiced with me when I was finally able to return home.


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