Dear [Name omitted for privacy],
There are many things that I do not know. I don’t know if many people have taken the time to thank you for your courage and optimism. I don’t know if those that see you on a daily basis fully appreciate who you are and what you have been able to do in the face of such adversity. I don’t know if you feel loved and supported the way that you love and support countless strangers that come across your story. I also don’t know if you know how big an impact you have had (and continue to have). So, if you will permit me, I would like to take a moment to let you know that you matter and that your candor inspires.
I have quietly followed your journey as of late and I would like to apologize for that silence. I took your courage and used it to help me through my own difficulties without really knowing how best to give back to you. In reading you each day, week, month, and seeing you keep such optimism in the face of enormous challenges, I began to see hope where previously there was only pain. I saw that, no matter what the illness throws at us, we can adapt and thrive and live and love, even if parts of us are missing. You are an amazing, generous person who deserves far better than what has been handed to you, but I have no doubt that the hurdles you’ve encountered as of late will pass. You will find again the equilibrium that permits a day with less thoughts about the pain and more thoughts about living. Although I have not seen you, I know that you are a beautiful person and I wish you all the best.
Take comfort knowing that you are not alone, that you are loved, that you matter in this beautiful shit storm we call life, and most importantly, that you can overcome this.
With tremendous gratitude,