Cindy- Backpacking for Behcet’s Disease Awareness and Suicide Prevention

You know we love seeing people do GREAT things! That is why we have our Buy 1- Give 1 policy, so we can help you donate socks to those in need! Recently we connected with a new Footstepper, Cindy, who is giving back in her own way. Read along to learn her story and about her upcoming adventure!

In 2008 a sickness overcame Cindy leading to progressive tiredness and eventually neurological symptoms. Over the course of three years she became weaker but no progress had been made even with the four specialty doctors, brain scans, nerve conduction tests and endless blood tests. Finally her local rheumatologist and neurologist referred her to a tertiary hospital at the University of Southern California. Cindy was doubtful after the years of struggle mentally and physically but she knew if she had any chance of getting better it was her only hope. It proved true as the rheumatologist at USC was able to provide Cindy a diagnosis after some short testing that she indeed had Behcet’s Disease.

Right away they began treatment and with much trial and error they have now found a plan that works best for Cindy. She has not achieved remission but Cindy is now in a place where her symptoms are minimized allowing her to enjoy the many activities she loves including painting, working out and backpacking.

When getting to know Cindy we asked her if she had any tips for others who are suffering from this autoimmune disease. She said,

  1. “Don’t define yourself by your disease. Make a list of identifying aspects that make YOU.
  2. You have to let yourself process the anger, depression, etc. I am not saying wallow in it but find a way to be comfortable with saying ‘it is what it is’.
  3. Avoid unneeded stress, get enough sleep when possible and eat healthy foods. It helps reduce flare ups.
  4. Do the hobbies you love to do, even when you don’t feel like it! For myself I found the first 5 times, I was forcing it, but the next 7 times I thoroughly enjoyed it and actually felt excitement.”

Thank you Cindy for sharing your advice, we hope that your experiences are able to help others as they trek through this crazy journey called life!

The Footsteps family is beyond excited to be partnering with Cindy, providing both emotional support and Footsteps Socks as she gears up to backpack for Behcet’s Disease Awareness and Suicide Prevention on a 50- mile stretch of the John Muir Trail. We can’t wait to cheer you on as you embark on this journey of greatness. Good luck Cindy and we will be catching up with you upon completion of your hike in September!