• Hi again, Bailey, hearing loss and profound deafness is a major debilitating condition that has and does plague my family (mother’s side). My half brother (deceased) was born totally deaf. My mom (also deceased) had hearing difficulties her entire life, and my hearing has gotten much worse, to the point that I have had 3 and a half pairs of hearing aids since my late thirties (I am now almost 75). Thankfully, none of the girls seem to have hearing difficulties. Diabetes was what took my mom, and runs rampant in my husband’s family. His sister recently died of type 1 Diabetes. His mom (deceased) had it and my husband currently has it. Though the risk for Diabetes is high, Kelly has not fallen victim to it. Cancer also is prevalent in both Bob’s and my family. Two aunts and one uncle on my side; also Bob, his mom and dad. His mom had leukemia, and his dad had rectal cancer. Bob has survived prostate cancer. Heart disease has afflicted several members of my mom’s family, including mom. Though I don’t know for sure what finally took my maternal grandma, she lived to be 86 bless her heart. ❤ Unfortunately, mental illness in the act of suicide claimed one uncle and one cousin on my mom’s side. Mom’s youngest sister attempted attempted suicide many times, but never succeeded; cancer was what took her life. That, friends, is our family’s health history. Some ordinary, some not so ordinary.

    • Becky, thank you SO much for sharing this! Wow… we have so dang much in common, don’t we? It’s like we are meant to be friends or kindred spirits! 

      On the subject of mental illness, I hadn’t even thought to include that in my write up…. Isn’t that sad? It shows how- even when I say “mental illness is the same as physical disease”- the dismissive stigma still plagues my subconscious even when I don’t mean for it to. Thank you for giving me something to think about today, within myself. 

      You’re so correct to include that! In my own family, my cousin who was profoundly Deaf ended up taking his life when we were both about 20. I was a very new Mom and couldn’t attend his funeral, and that day (grieving at home, alone, with a newborn) is stuck in my mind forever. I think of him so often and miss him. He made such a beautiful impression on many in his short time here. 

      Sometimes I wonder if my push to advocate for Deaf rights is not because of my own hearing loss (which hit me later in life)… But really for him? He deserved the world, and got a world that didn’t deserve him instead. (This is inspiring me to write about him some time in the future. Thank you for the much needed reminder.)

      We also have schizophrenia in our family (in just a couple of relatives), and I wish there was more advocacy and support on that subject worldwide!!! There is so much misinformation and fear around a mental illness that cannot be chosen or helped… You know?

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