A Sister’s Surprise on World Narcolepsy Day
Guest Post by: Ana Elena Lara
Meet Me In The Park
The morning of World Narcolepsy Day, my sister handed me a shirt and said to meet her at the park. I had planned to take pictures with my World Narcolepsy Day sign that day. Raising awareness is important to me because I went 12 plus years with symptoms before finding an accurate narcolepsy diagnosis at age 28.
When I arrived at the park, my sister and all of my cousins were there, wearing matching World Narcolepsy Day shirts.
Just Showing Up
I held back tears. They told me they loved me and wanted to help me spread awareness, but they weren’t sure how to help me to spread awareness. I assured them that them showing up meant so much and that that statement spoke volumes. It was so sweet, I was beside myself.
Finding My Voice
All of this was thanks to Project Sleep. You guys gave me a way to talk to my family about narcolepsy. You gave me a voice and they heard. They asked me questions and I shared a lot more than I had previously. Also, my husband’s work even talked about World Narcolepsy Day in their weekly meeting!
In addition, my sister recently got a tattoo that reads “Sleep Nation” so that every time someone asks her what it means, she can spread awareness about narcolepsy. She knows how long it took for me to get diagnosed, she knows my struggles and sees my strength. She made me (her big sister) cry and so proud, I love her.
Julie Flygare’s response on behalf of Project Sleep:
Ana: Thank you for sharing your story and for raising your voice! You’re an amazing woman.
Ana’s Family: While you met in one park in Phoenix, AZ, your love and support of Ana’s experience radiates and can be felt by ALL of us living with narcolepsy near and far. Thank you for giving us hope for a brighter future.