For the past 17 years I have had the privilege of calling Ms. Brittany Crichton my best friend. We have been through dress up time, slumber parties, bullying, moves, broken hearts, pregnancies, weddings, college, surgeries and every other hurdle life throws our way. She is truly an outstanding individual.
In the past 3 years my best friend has been suffering through an extremely rare disorder, her ligaments are melting, her joints dislocate, she bares extreme daily pain, and she has had countless surgeries and procedures. She suffers what is known as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, it is a degenerative connective tissue disorder, and even in its mildest form (loose skin and double jointedness) effects only 1 in every 5,000 people.
SOOO…..in an attempt to fund raise and raise awareness for the most amazing woman alive, I have donated my time and skills to do whatever I can to help. In collaboration with her and her family we have started www.endthehurts.com, which explains in detail Brittany’s heroic battle with this stupid disorder (it’s only stupid because it should’ve picked someone else).
We styled this shoot with the help of Alyssa Wodabek and Misty Charette, to show the sides of Brittany that not everyone sees (but should), her fierce will to be positive, her comic view of things, and most importantly the hope to turn this whole disaster into a learning experience for others.
All that I ask from those of you who will read this is that you pass on this message to someone else “Even though you may have an invisible illness, it doesn’t have to have you”. This is the quote Brittany has been pushing, she does NOT belong to her Ehlers, and her life is truly hers to live.
I hope that I can continue to do whatever I can for this cause (and this incredible young woman) as she is one of the most important people in my life. She is an amazing aunt to my daughter, a sister to me and a friend to everyone she meets. She is fiercely loyal, and in her Maid of Honor speech at my wedding she said “You know who your true friends are when you have extremely painful surgery, come home all drugged up, and find your best friend there to help pull up your pants.” I hope that I can be there for all her surgeries, just as she is there for me with all my issues, I couldn’t ask for a better BFF and if I can help her by building a site, planning a fundraiser and buying Tshirts, you can damn well bet I will.
That is it, check out http://www.endthehurts.com and spread the love. I can’t spread this to the masses on my own, and her story deserves to be heard.