Erin G

Erin G., TX

In the spring of 2017, my sister Meghan began having health issues. Meghan was a former Division I athlete who never took a sick day in her professional career, so when she started to have health issues, we were all surprised. 

Her health issues started with her developing sores in her mouth. The sores were painful and made eating difficult which was extremely unpleasant. She quickly began to lose weight. Soon, she was informed that she had an autoimmune disease called oral lichen planus. At the time, the doctors weren't sure what caused the autoimmune disease, and she was doing her best to manage it with diet changes. 

Then, the bad news came in September of 2017. Meghan went to the ER due to difficulty breathing. It was then that Meghan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (the same cancer our father died from). We were heartbroken. Even worse, the NHL which caused the autoimmune disease also caused a lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans. 

Eventually we learned that the NHL was the good news. It was curable and after five months of chemo she did end up beating it. But over a stressful 13 months, my family and I watched in agony as my sister continued to lose the battle to BO, a very rare and aggressive lung disease. 

As a professional, I head up the learning and development department for a small pharmaceutical sales team. I have been in the pharmaceutical industry for over twenty years. During my sister's illness, I realized that my knowledge and experience in pharmaceutical sales were a real asset. I had a different perspective than most family members stuck in the same situation. I had an advantage because I could use what I knew about working with healthcare professionals to advocate for my sister. 

Unfortunately, my sister passed away in October of 2018. She left behind so many people who adored her including a husband and two young girls. After she died, I was determined to make something good come out of something so horrific. So, I spent most of 2019 writing a book called Badass Advocate: Becoming The Champion Your Loved One Deserves.  

I wrote the book because I want to help other families get a head start on advocating for their loved one. No reason for them to take years to figure out what my family already figured out. Instead, I share our strategies on how to be a Badass Advocate for their loved one. These simple yet effective strategies truly help caregivers when they need it most. 

Since I published my book in 2020, I've continued to speak at events and on podcasts with the sole purpose of helping other family members to advocate for their sick loved one and get them the best care possible.
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