Sara has inspired thousands of people through her blog Gitzen Girl, about her journey with Ankylosing Spondylitis and her daily decision to Choose Joy. I found Sara's blog years ago and was fascinated to read her posts as she was the first person I had ever heard of with AS, other than my dad. She was a woman (AS used to be thought of as a men's disease) and she was just a handful of years older than me. I loved her red curls, her beautiful eyes and smile, her heart, her story, and most of all, her attitude.
She has been such a blessing to me, especially since I began my own journey with AS. Little did I know, those years ago, that we would share this disease.
While Ankylosing Spondylitis is known for attacking the spine and other joints, it can also become systemic and effect organs such as the heart and lungs. That is what happened in Sara's case.
Sara has been very ill and recently found out that her organs are shutting down. She is at home, with hospice care, surrounded by her large, loving family and her sweet little dog, Riley, who has been her constant companion.
No more pain, no more sickness, no more tears, Sweet Friend.