Thursday, 11 August 2016


This post is a really special one. It's an interview with my lovely friend, Sophia Galpin. 

Sophia and I first met at university almost 8 years ago now. Although not particularly close while studying we were brought together when  ill health forced us both to give up jobs as Speech and Language Therapists. Initially we received different diagnoses but later found out that we both have Lyme Disease. Sophia has been there for me at every single up and down, virtually holding my hand from afar and cheering me on with every tiny achievement. Lyme Disease has been especially cruel to Sophia and it breaks my heart to see her in unthinkable levels of pain. Despite all the limitations it has put on her life though, she has never let it beat her. She is without doubt the most resilient person I know.  

Sophia writes the blog Spoonie Sophia, where she shares delicious gluten-free/ dairy-free/ paleo recipes, beautiful and reassuringly honest posts about chronic illness as well as accessible, informative articles to help others understand the horribly misunderstood conditions she lives with.

I could gush about how much I love Sophia all day - she is endlessly creative, incredibly thoughtful and has real integrity (no recipe will ever go up on her website until it has been tried and tested to perfection). She is one of my closest friends and I do not know what I would have done without her over the last few years. To handle pain and ill health with the grace and humility that she has, all while looking out for others at the same time is nothing short of amazing. Sophia was recently nominated for a National Diversity Award as a Positive Role Model. It's a title that could not be more fitting and I'm incredibly proud of her. 

Sophia has just started a fundraising campaign for treatment which she so desperately needs. It would mean the world to me if you could take a minute to pop across to her page to have a read and donate if you're able. If you're not able to donate, simply sharing her page could go a long way and would be hugely appreciated. You can find it here: SOPHIA'S GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN

Alternatively, I have added an extra special BearHugs gift box to my shop, all profits of which go straight to Sophia's campaign. You can read about this here: THE SOPHIA BOX


Here are the answers Sophia gave to my interview questions

What are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of the fact that I've not given up and I still really enjoy life despite everything. I still get up every day and do little things (well, big things for me) even though I feel so poorly, whether that be to send an email, write something for my blog, do a little baking, or even make it out for lunch; I achieve something everyday

Who/ what do you look to for inspiration?

My spoonie pals who continue prove that so much is possible despite chronic illness - crafts, jewellery making, blogging, fundraising, raising awareness, starting a business, you name it they've done it! Everyone in our little community is so supportive and always offering words of encouragement and advice to each other even when they're not doing so well themselves.

When chronic illness feels like a bit of a cloud, what's your silver lining?

My silver lining is that I now appreciate the smallest things in life! I couldn’t be more grateful for my friends/family & boyfriend and for the tiny things that bring me joy like the sun shining on my face, watching my little dog walking alongside my wheelchair, a phone call with a friend, a handwritten card and a good cup of fruit tea! Being grateful makes me feel happy. Also if I hadn't fallen ill we probably wouldn't have gotten a dog when we did - Copper has brought me an enormous amount of joy - he’s always making me smile and laugh, even on the particularly bad days!

What would your advice be to someone who has recently fallen ill?

I’d say try not to panic about what your future holds, instead focus on the present moment and getting through each day as bets you can - you don’t know what will happen and dwelling on it brings a lot of negativity and sadness. Hold onto hope as best you can as that will keep you going no matter how dark some days are. It’s not going to be easy, and recovery will be a long slow balancing act but you have to believe you will get there! Also to seek out the spoonie community and take comfort in the fact that there are others who truly understand what you are going through.




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