It's been a difficult 3.5 years living with refractory Crohn's Disease, and it shows no sign of getting easier any time soon. But I look around at all the other kids who are at the hospital, and I'm thankful because things could be a lot worse. Yes, my medical options are VERY limited right now, but I know that research is being done so that this won't always be the case. I may not be able to physically do much right now, but at least I have the opportunity to do things. I know a lot of people look at what I've been through and say "he's got it bad" but there are so many other kids at the hospital that have it worse than me. I'm thankful that this disease has opened my eyes to see other people's suffering. If I hadn't developed Crohn's Disease I might never have learned first hand how under-supported this area of the hospital is compared to other areas. The Heart Centre has a cool "bubble wall" and an asteroid that holds special secrets. The treatment rooms in the cancer wards, my friends have told me, are amazing. But the Inflammatory Bowel Disease treatment rooms are greatly in need of an upgrade. I'm thankful that there are people out there, complete strangers, who take the time to see what Jacob's Healing Rooms is all about and support my wish to make sick children smile.
Most of all, I'm thankful for the support. Friends, family, strangers who have become friends, your support means the world to me. My journey with this disease has been far from easy. I've had so many disappointments and "hiccups" come along. At times I've wondered how I'd find the strength to keep going on. Then I read the messages of support and love. The kind words that people have taken the time to share which I save to read on the bad days, they mean so very much. Reading your words, sharing your stories of living with challenges, they help to bring brightness to my darkest days. I wish you all could know just how much your kindness has helped me. I'm forever thankful.