“My friends Mike and Patty Amodeo have gone through a lot with his chronic illness. My husband Bruce and I have watched them go through this up and down scenario in very inspiring way, supporting one another and fighting to find purpose in their pain.
So when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune issue requiring chemotherapy, we thought this was the time to find meaning in our illnesses! Patty came up with the name, ‘Silver Linings’ and we brought in other couples to join us. We wanted to include spouses because we learned that illness affects the whole family, not just the individual.
We had a social worker come to speak to us on how to help others with chronic illness face their issues and find meaning in their own situations. She taught us how to run our groups and now we will be opening the group up to the community to learn from our speakers. The speakers will add to our learning of how to face chronic illness with confidence and support. Our first speaker also has a chronic illness, and she now uses her skills to help others navigate insurance questions.
There is also a time of sharing where we can confidentially discuss and support different struggles and victories each month at our meetings. As one of the women in the group said, the best words to hear when you are very sick are ‘I know just how you feel because I’ve been there’ and this group allows that.
Bruce and I have always had the goal in our dating and marriage to help others. God and our good friends have helped us become who we are and we are very grateful. We want to give back!”
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