I recently discovered a young woman who has dealt with many health troubles but continues to push forward each day.
Her name is Brittney, ~filthyhandss, and I give you her story.
Brittney was born with extreme tachycardia and Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease (Congenital Heart Disease). On April 13, 2006 she had minor heart surgery called Homograft where her aortic valve was replaced with a pig aortic valve. After the surgery life was mostly normal but shortly after Brittney developed twitches.
In January of this year she blacked out after getting out of the shower. The doctors first thought this was due to Hypoglycemia since the black out happened right after a hot shower. When test results returned normal she was scheduled for a neurology exam. On March 25 at 3:45 PM the results of the exam came back and said that Brittney has Basal Ganglia dysfunction which is the leading cause of Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, progressive supra nuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, multiple system atrophy, Wilson disease, and dystonia. Also, any harm to the brain can possibly damage the basal ganglia (a collection of nuclei in the brain) this includes strokes, metabolic abnormalities, liver disease, multiple sclerosis, infections,and head trauma.
It is not certain yet which way the dysfunction will go for Brittney.
Brittney says that she will never give up and, "I plan on living everyday for the rest of my life to the fullest, do not fear death for it comes for us all. Just embrace and cherish the life you live now, for better or for worse hope is all we have left, to be the last one standing." Brittney admits that she is scared about how her life carry out but is determined to not let that get her down.
When asked where she finds such strength, Brittney says, "Honestly look around you, I'm a normal 16 year old girl, I find my strength and will to fight in simple things that normal people may take for granted. I am strong because I surround myself with strong people." Her mother is a health technician from a small town and, according to Brittney, she is hard working, strong hearted and level headed. Her father has his faults but to Brittney he is Super Man.
Brittney's four year old brother, Jacob, gives her strength too. He has Asperger's syndrome and when Brittney was told this she became quite upset. Jacob went to her saying, "I Love you sissy don't cry" and Brittney realized, "I need to be strong not only for myself but also for the ones that I love."
Along with her family, Brittney credits her friends with her strength saying, "I would be nothing without them, they have my back through thick and through thin." She goes on to say, "Together as people we learn grow and succeed, with out friends and family we would not be who we are today, for good or for bad you can only live one life, don't let minor things hold you back from your dreams. If you aim for the stars you'll at least reach the moon. I am here if you ever need a shoulder to cry on, or a person to talk to I am straight forward, fun-loving, level headed and a fighter."
I asked Brittney what Art is to her. She said Art is Life because Life is an art in its own right. Art is her memory, experiences, and soul which she tries to express in all that she creates. She wants to impact people and be remembered not as someone with a dysfunction but instead as someone that changed lives.
I also asked what deviantART was to her. She says this:
Deviantart is not just a website to me. In the beginning I came on just to fave people and tell them how great they are, but then it grew on me. I've always known I wanted to grow and become a professional photographer and being on deviantART has helped me to grow, with the critique and praise from the deviantART community, deviantart has grown to be a second home to me. Devinatart has pushed me up and lifted me closer to realizing my dream. I now know I want to be a forensic photographer. I love photography and I want it to help people. I want to impact someone, I want to save lives, I want to be a hero in at least one persons eyes, to say the least deviantART is changing the way I look at the world for the better and I thank you all for that privilege.
You are already a hero to me Brittney.
When Your Strength Vanishes and you don't know what to do, I encourage you to think of Brittney or the one in your life who always builds you up and if possible talk with them too. Build upon your own strength and in time you can lend it to those in need. May you go on through your days empowered and strengthened.
Wishing you a great day.