At merely 20 -years-old, Sara Gebert suffers from a condition you might find very difficult to comprehend.
It is called chronic pseudo-bowel blockage and gastroparesis. She actually has not been able to eat or drink for 2 full years due to this rare ailment. She was vomiting up to 60 times per day and eventually had to have operations, creating access points in her belly in order to take in an artificial diet. Sara doesnt let her condition stop her from acting like a regular 20 year old, though as you can imagine it is very difficult. This brave young lady recently had an interaction with a stranger and then penned a letter to the woman and posted it online. Its pretty amazing and is perfectly worth the read.
Here is Saras letter 😛 TAGEND
“I dont know how hard it was for you to approach me on the beach, but I know I have a hard time talking to strangers. But you waltzed up to me with such confidence that nobody would have ever expected a confidence problem with either one of us, especially since I have to carry myself with such an aura of it. You find me for who I genuinely was a scared girl who was trying so hard to not let anyone watch the anxiety in her eyes.
I dont know if thats why you came up to me or not, but I want to thank you. Living with a chronic illness is no easy feat, and it gets even harder when that illness changes your outer appearance as much as mine has. With clothes on , no one can tell that Im anything but a typical person, but on the beach its a whole different story.
Everyone is exposed on the beach, but I literally have to let it all hang out. I have an ileostomy, a G-tube and a J-tube , not something you see every day. Im used to them to me theyre normal. But to everyone else, Im something out of a science fiction movie. But you, you ensure me as a person. You didnt stare at my equipment, you appeared me in the eye. And then you thanked me.
Im not sure you could tell, but I was stunned. Ive had people approach me and call me gross or ask me, Are you really going in the pool like that? And when you came up to me, I was preparing for the worst. But what came next still has me in awe. You thanked me for rocking my bikini, told me about how you used to have an ileostomy as well and how you no longer have a large intestine. You told me I was inspiring. That frankly meant the world to me.
When I was packing for that journey, I agonized for hours about what bathing suits to bring. I actually brought every bathing suit I owned and fund to buy a new one because I didnt believe I had the right one to hide everything. That morning I made a last minute decision to just wear my bikini as if I didnt have any extra parts on my belly. I was so nervous. Every teenage daughter can have body image issues, and since get my ostomy, mine have been multiplied by 100. We hadnt been on the beach long when you approached me, and I was already feeling uncomfortable, believing all eyes were on my ostomy. But after speaking with you for those few short minutes, all my worries melted away. At that moment, I realized what I look like doesnt matter, and for the rest of vacation, my only bathing suit issue was that I had severely over packed and likely didnt require nearly as many as I had brought!
So thank you. Thank you for restoring my religion in the good of people. Thank you for allowing me to feel comfortable in my own scalp. And eventually, thank you for giving me the confidence to enjoy my vacation to the fullest extent.”
Share this wonderful letter with friends and family if it truly moved you as much as it has moved the many who have read it thus far. Truly a wonderful thing that this stranger did and it shows how the little interactions we have in life can make an enormous difference in the lives of others.