A Letter From Hannah
In the past few months, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received with Chronically Capable. A year ago today, I would have laughed if someone told me I’d be telling the world about my fight with Lyme disease. Yet, here I am, practicing the art of vulnerability every single day, sharing my story and my mission.
I’ve had strangers write to me from across the globe, I’ve had estranged friends reach out to me via social media, and I’ve had thousands of people express their support for Chronically Capable. In the spirit of the holidays, I can’t help but feel grateful for the overwhelming encouragement I am receiving.
Fighting my relapse of Lyme, while working with my team to start a new company, I haven’t had much time to sit and reflect on the people in my life. I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to those who love me, whether that be in the context of romance, friendship, or family.
I want to thank each and every one of you for not giving up on me.
Thank you for believing me, even when some of the top doctors in the country didn’t.
Thank you for bringing me to tears of laughter when all I want to do is shed tears of frustration.
Thank you for checking in on me, even though I sometimes let texts sit in my inbox for weeks…
Thank you for reminding me that I am worthy. When a disease strips you of your sense of self, it’s hard to remember this simple fact. Thanks for pointing this out and not letting me forget it.
Thank you for continuing to treat me like a normal 22 year old.
Thank you for telling me to keep fighting, even when quitting sometimes sounds easier.
Thank you for understanding when I cancel plans and not taking it personally. I’m just freakin’ tired sometimes, so thanks for understanding that.
Thank you for listening to my rants, to my ideas, to my struggles, to my desperation, and most importantly, to my bad jokes.
Thank you for being there, whether physically or remotely, thank you for always answering the phone and never letting me fight this battle alone.
Thank you for loving me, even though I can be hard to love. I love you back.
I wouldn’t be here today without each and every one of you. Thank you for making this all worth it, and for sticking by my side as I continue to fight the fight of my life. Cheers to you and Happy Holidays.
Do I have to disclose my disability to my employer? What accommodations am I entitled to request? Can I be paid less because of my reasonable accommodation? So many questions might arise as you go through the employment process.
There are simply no excuses for not hiring chronically ill workers. Doing so would detrimentally reduce your available talent pool.
Let’s start by getting this straight: you do not have to disclose anything about your health to an employer. If you wish to disclose, you’re allowed to disclose at any point in time, whether that be during the interview, during the negotiation process, once you’ve started, or even three years into your job.
Living with a chronic condition is incredibly time- consuming. Whether it’s frequent doctor appointments, blood draws, treatment schedules, or taking the time to rest, our days are jam-packed to the brim. I know this first hand as I’ve struggled with Lyme disease since 2015.
One of society’s biggest misconceptions is that people living with chronic illness are not able to work. We can — we just have to reimagine what that looks like.
At Chronically Capable, we’re building a platform that does not discriminate - based on race, gender, disability, or even health conditions. Having been in constant contact with employers and job seekers during this time, we recognize how much work there is to be done.
This past week, the internet has been flooded with news surrounding remote work, as employers are flocking to adapt and train their employees to work from home. It’s funny to me that it took a global crisis for businesses to realize that it’s not expensive nor difficult to allow their employees to work remotely.
It was my last summer before my senior year of high school when I had my first episode after a ride at the county fair...