5 Unstoppable People With Chronic Conditions Will Inspire You To Be Grateful

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5 Unstoppable People With Chronic Conditions Will Inspire You To Be Grateful

Life is so short and too precious to be wasted on negativity.

Sure, we've all got our bad days, but if you've got your health you're already way ahead of many who struggle daily with chronic conditions. So many people live with chronic pain and depend on medical advances to keep them alive. And yet, they thrive because their fighting spirit cannot tolerate anything less than a life well lived.

If you're having a tough day and need some inspiration, let their stories shine a light for you:

1. Sara Geurts

Diagnosed at the age of 10 with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), she was constantly pushed to the sidelines because her illness was 'invisible'. Her rare type of the syndrome caused her skin to loose it's elasticity, causing it to sag.

After years of feeling insecure, she made the decision to raise awareness for EDS. The model/advocate wants to break society's barriers to perfection.

"A reminder we all need: love your body, love yourself,be gentle with your body, be gentle with yourself. We are our own real life warriors. "

[The Mighty]

2. Michael J. Fox

At the age of 29, Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Since then he has been an active proponent in the quest to finding a treatment and a cure for the chronic, progressive movement disorder.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, the Canadian-American actor says that he doesn't let his condition slow him down. One life lesson he's learned: "Look at the choices you have, not the choices that have been taken away from you. In them, there are whole worlds of strength and new ways to look at things."

[Globe and Mail / Good Housekeeping ]

3. Yolanda Hadid

Cast member of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Yolanda Hadid suffers from Lyme disease, a condition caused by bacteria that is difficult to diagnose.

Although it can be treated successfully, it can often be misdiagnosed as it's symptoms mimic other illnesses. Like many people with invisible illnesses, Hadid was accused of exaggerating her illness. Her advice to others:

"...Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, so your kindness goes a long way, and together we can make a real difference in someone's day."

[Bustle/The Mighty]

4. Venus Williams

In 2011, Venus Williams was forced to withdraw from the US Open due to Sjogren's syndrome. The debilitating autoimmune disease temporarily derailed one of the world's top female athletes, but she didn't let the joint pain keep her down.

After her diagnosis, Williams adjusted her diet and her lifestyle to manage the disease. "I just see it as a challenge because in my life I've never been defeated by anything... I've lost and I've had to learn -- but I've never had to lay down the towel, so to speak. "


5. Jillian Michaels

The famous fitness trainer got a lot of heat after stating in an interview that she would rather adopt than put her body through the physical challenges of pregnancy.

However, she suffers from endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - two painful, invisible illness that affect millions of women worldwide.  

"Don't shut down your emotions. Embrace them. Your emotions are your internal compass telling you whether or not you are on track."

[Sape / The New York Times]