Inspiring Resilience by Ashley Jenkins

I consider myself an extremely lucky individual; yes, I suffer from a horrible disease known as Gastroparesis, but I am fortunate enough to have multiple loving, caring supporters who always encourage me to keep fighting and to never give up. There are no words for how amazing and encouraging my family is, but there is one particular non-family member who inspires me to continue my fight each day without ceasing. This young woman suffers from Gastroparesis, Raynaud’s Phenomenon Syndrome, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, and numerous other undiagnosed issues. Every minute of every day, she suffers pain, hunger, nausea, and many other hardships due to her illnesses, yet regardless of those difficulties my motivator continues to spread awareness for her illnesses, and she encourages each person she meets.

Megan Kondilas is an inspiration to every person she meets, she is where I find the strength to keep fighting. With all of her medical issues she could, at any time, decide to stop doing all the wonderful things she does and focus on herself and there would be no blame, but she chooses to continue to encourage others and share her strength with them. Along with her strong will and wonderful encouragement, Megan raises awareness for Gastroparesis in about every way possible. Another awe-inspiring accomplishment of Megan’s is her non-profit organization called Megan’s Journey, this organization is where Bravery Boxes originated. Megan’s Bravery Boxes are sent to those who are ill; the boxes are filled with multiple gifts and a card from Megan to cheer up whoever receives it.

All the miraculous achievements and deeds mentioned above are merely a portion of all that Megan does, and if she can accomplish so much after suffering through all she does, I can keep fighting too. Whenever I feel sad, upset, or defeated, Megan is there to cheer me up and help me out. Likewise, when I receive good news, Megan is there to cheer me on. No matter how she feels, she keeps an encouraging smile on her face for any and all that need it. With all she deals with, how admirably she accomplished everything she does, and with each encouraging word she gives, despite the pain she is in, Megan and her great attitude give me the courage, strength, and determination to keep fighting, stay resilient, and never ever give up, no matter what.

By: Ashley Jenkins, honoree in the Chronic Resilience essay contest.

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