The Power Of One Voice By Cookie

What is a patient activist you ask? Fortunately more people have no idea of the meaning of that phrase than those who actually do, and for that we can be thankful.

There are many causes (no pun intended) for people to become activists, the majority of the time it is because something has happened to them personally or to someone dear to them. People try to make sense of tragic things in their lives by making something positive come from it. Some times when people become affected by something they want to bring awareness and a make a difference. Some people it is the need to make people understand that drives them, some it is to educate and for some it is to validate their self or the suffering they go through. Then you have those who choose to gain from people’s suffering for their own recognition.

Which kind of activist are you?

You have many activists who have suffered tragedies over the years and set out on a mission to make a difference by bringing awareness. One person who comes to mind that is very recognizable to society would be John Walsh: America’s Most Wanted. He never sought out being a victim’s advocate or activist, but it is a role that has become his very soul and his life since July 27, 1981, the day his only child, Adam, was abducted from a mall near his home in Hollywood. Florida. Adam was found murdered two weeks later. The case remained unsolved for 27 years. But in December 2008, after a long investigation that was re-opened by the Hollywood Police Department and with the assistance from dedicated active and retired criminal justice professionals, Adam’s case was finally closed. Ottis Toole who’d always been the main suspect was undeniably named the killer of Adam Walsh. This one man, lost in the midst of his own personal tragedy accomplished so many triumphs over the years in saving lives, there for saving himself. The power of one voice. What kind of activist are you?

You have activists who have friends or family members that suffer from a serious illness causing them to have a strong need to bring awareness and make a difference. Often times when people loose a loved one due to an illness it creates the need to fill a void left by that person, to validate the suffering they went through and make a difference by doing things that bring awareness. Nancy Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in honor of her sister Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer in 1980. Lovely and vibrant, Suzy wasn’t just her sister — she was her best friend and role model. She was only 36, with two young children and everything to live for when she received the worst news of her life. For three years she fought courageously, but ultimately lost her battle. Since then, Nancy Brinker has made it her life’s work to fulfill the promise she made to Suzy to find a cure for this disease. This one activist has turned her sister’s tragic death into a global Race For The Cure: The Power Of Pink. The power of one voice. What kind of activist are you?

You have activists who are making a tremendous effort to making a difference because they themselves suffer from a serious illness. Kelly Christal Johnston suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis. At one time she was a schoolteacher on a mission to educate and make futures brighter. During one of our many conversations she confided in me that she missed being a teacher more than anything. She said she was born to be a teacher, and an educator. I told her that I couldn’t agree more. I told her that she is and will always be a teacher no matter what Ankylosing Spondylitis or life in general brings her way. I told Kelly you are still a teacher, only the subject and classroom have been changed. I said maybe you are the one that is supposed to educate the world about Ankylosing Spondylitis. She laughed softly at me and said, “Cookie, you are so silly.” Which is a phrase she often uses with me.

I was right though; this one young courageous human being with a sincere and genuine heart full of passion has created Hurting But Hopeful, and Masquerade Of Words. She is also the cofounder of A.S.A.P and Hope and Apples.  She has made it her life’s goal to be the best activist that Ankylosing Spondylitis has ever seen, and she will be. I have been a part of the A. S. World for two years. I have seen a dramatic change in the past year, which I contribute to her, and her ability to motivate and inspire others.  It is easy to see the sincerity in her and the hope she feels and the desperation to make a difference to bringing awareness to this silent disease in order to make a difference in her children’s future and yours also.  The power of one voice. What kind of activist are you?

Then you have activists such as myself, who have a need to fill the void that is deep within their soul because of this illness.  I want to bring awareness and help people to understand what Ankylosing Spondylitis means to all of us, yourself included.

My goal is to bring awareness to the community, accountability to the medical field, and hope to the Ankylosing Spondylitis sufferers, and validation to my own suffering. The power of one voice. What kind of activist are you?

Then you have the activists who would gain from your pain. The ones I call the wolf in sheep’s clothing. The ones who are committed to using your cause to bring awareness to them selves for personal gain, be it their egos that need feeding, or their talents being discovered, or their careers being furthered, or their pockets being lined. This type of activist is easy to see through, just because they suffer from an invisible illness doesn’t mean the reasons behind their actions are invisible to others. They miss opportunities to bring awareness to “their cause “ because they are using that opportunity to promote awareness to themselves. This type of activist reminds me of the quote: Talk is cheap; it is your actions that speak. A sincere activist never misses a chance to bring awareness to their cause. A sincere activist will take advantage of every opportunity they are given and not waste a single one, because each and every one of them are precious to a person who is suffering. The power of one voice. What kind of activist are you?

An activist is a person who has the ability to be empathetic, compassionate and understanding of other people’s needs above themselves. It is a person who is committed with a pure heart that their only goal is to bring awareness and change to a cause that has touched them. It is a person who reaches out to a person by letter, email, blogs, Facebook, twitter, phone, television, webcaming, or to each other to bring awareness and understanding. It is a person who is passionate and sincere in their mission. The power of one voice. What kind of activist are you?

I tell people all the time it only takes one person to make a difference in this world.Everything you have in this world is the result of one man’s thought.
Today, when you see something that needs change, comment about it to one person, eventually the right person will hear and the difference will be made.

Dedicated to all of us, who are committed for whatever reason to making a difference.

The power of one voice. What kind of activist are you?

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