Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Yesterday after my stem cell transplant I was overwhelmed with the amount of people changing their profile pictures on Facebook to Superman in support of me. As the red, gold and blue logo stared back at me, I feel it is only fitting to share with you the importance this symbol has to me.
Like all young kids, I also admired super heroes. My three favorite superheroes were Superman, Batman and Spiderman. Life goes on and we begin to grow up and out of our childhood fantasies. However, for me my diagnosis of CIDP reconnected me with Superman. For those of you following our journey, you know that I was 12 when I was diagnosed. Twelve is often a difficult time in a young man's life. Often times while other kids were out running and playing, I was in a hospital room connected to IV's in an effort to strengthen my body. It was during this time that I began to relate more to the Superman character. The Clark Kent character, played by Christopher Reeve, was a shy, small-town boy who was hiding a secret nobody of this world could imagine. For me, this little scenario would play out as a coping mechanism for me the rest of my life.
With remitting and relapsing CIDP it is equivalent in my mind to the alter-ego of Clark Kent and Superman. Because Clark Kent had special powers he was unable to participate in activities that typical kids did because he felt like he had to hide these differences. This is often how I got through my relapsing phase of CIDP. During a relapse, I tended to seclude myself, keeping my CIDP from the world. Then, when I was in remission, I felt like Superman-Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
As the influence of Superman continues with my stem cell journey, it seemed only fitting that the release of the Man of Steel occurred while my family and I were in Chicago. Not only were scenes from this movie shot in Chicago, but it was also revealed that the "S" symbol stands for Hope. And, it is that Hope that has brought us here.