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This is Not What I Ordered: a podcast on full-hearted living with chronic illness + health challenges

Oct 22, 2019

In this episode of This Is Not What I Ordered, I’m joined by Sheryl Chan — a web developer, writer, and travel enthusiast living with multiple chronic illnesses. Suffering from a mild stroke at the age of 14, Sheryl was diagnosed with a rare blood clotting syndrome that set off a chain reaction of other autoimmune disorders including lupus, epilepsy, Sjögren’s syndrome, and a heart rhythm disorder. In the midst of her health challenges, Sheryl embraced her love of writing and started using blogs as a cathartic outlet. This eventually led to the creation of A Chronic Voice, where she’s able to raise awareness of silent disabilities and give other people with chronic illness a space to share their perspectives.

By accepting her health challenges and freely sharing them with the world, Sheryl has taken the power away from her illness and reclaimed it as her own. She reminds us that acceptance doesn’t mean you’re giving up — it can be a powerful opportunity for transformation and inner growth.

During our time together, Sheryl offers up her thoughts on why it’s so important to normalize chronic illness and gain different perspectives. She also opens up about the identity struggles that accompany chronic illness, how it taught her to respect her body, and how having a sense of wonder about the body has helped her cope.