Updated: Jan 15, 2022
Co-Immunity reached out to me in the depths of the pandemic. For those who are more able-bodied than me, you may not know the experience the pandemic caused to people with disabilities.
Suddenly my providers stopped meeting me because they didn’t want to do telehealth, my therapist was burnt out because of the overwhelming loneliness and longing we all felt, and I had to spend 16 hours a day in class through a screen while my classmates could go in person because I was immunocompromised. It seemed nobody cared to accommodate for these struggles, and all of these things were out of my control.
Things are never in control when you have a chronic illness, and it's this way for a lot of us. But, when I say Co-Immunity was the organization that helped me feel heard through all of this, I mean it. I had no idea there were other people my age, or in my area, that were experiencing the same thing as me. I am SO not a support group person, but this experience has changed that.
I’ve learned vulnerability in an authentic way is everything.
Co-Immunity taught me several skills, including ways I can communicate with my doctors/teachers/parents, medication options to speak about to my providers, the real mental turmoil of chronic illness, advocacy for myself, and ways to practice self-care—ALL through a mindset that wasn’t ableist.
Now as I transition out of school into the professional world, I feel confident advocating for accessibility access knowing I have people to support, advocate, and communicate with me. The support group leaders have life experiences that don't compare to any other group I met because they’ve gone through s*** and are helping us not go through the same thing. Nobody teaches you these skills, when you’re born with a chronic illness the world just expects you to figure it out or it will shut you out because it doesn’t care. So join Co-Immunity, let’s figure it out together to make it a little less scary, and I’ll see you at the next support group 💕
Written by Lissa Peloquin