They say it takes a village to raise a child. When you have a child who happens to have a chronic illness like IBD, your village is a little larger than most! Amongst all the trips around your village to doctor visits, lab draws and procedures…not to leave out school, activities, dinner making, school party shopping and more…you may find yourself and your child starting to drag a bit. You have questions unanswered. You wonder if other parents in the same situation feel this way. You find yourself wishing for some support. But who has time to attend a support group once a month or even 2-3 times a year? That is one village spot…I have often passed by but wished I didn’t have too. We as caregivers often forget that taking care of ourselves is often the best way to care for others around us.

I was lucky enough to find a support system to add to our family’s village called Smart Patients. I found a place where I could safely log online anytime of the day or night. I could post a topic or even add my own two cents in from my own experience. In turn, I received back a respectful, encouraging and information-filled response…sometimes in minutes! Gone were trying to fit in a support group meetings on the calendar. Hello to a support group beyond any size that could fit in one room. Hello to support from “villages” all over the world!

Not only had I found my missing support link for our village, but I became a part of so many other people’s villages all over the world. Having a child with a chronic illness like IBD shouldn’t limit the possibilities around us…it should Inspire us Beyond the Diagnosis! That is what Smart Patients has done for us! I would encourage those who are caring for children with IBD and other diagnoses to not forget to add this support system to their village.

Tegan – a Smart Patient

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