March 25, 2011

Back to School

Somehow I graduated college.

It was a miracle, really. Not because I was partying so hard that I forgot to go to class. I always remembered to go to class.

It was a miracle because I spent the majority of my Junior year at a different, not often visited part of campus – the Hospital. And even though I shouldn’t have graduated on time, my professors, my classmates, and my parents all made sure that if I wanted to get my diploma with the rest of my friends, than that is what would happen.

I wrote essays while hooked to a dialysis machine. Friends dropped off lecture notes with my nurses. I was even allowed to take an un-timed final in the comfort of my own home, in slippers.

And somehow, I graduated. I wore the cap and gown. I walked into the stadium and I celebrated with everyone else.

The score?

Lupus: 2 Kidneys. Sodium Girl: 1 Bachelor’s degree.

Of course, now, I wish I had milked my medical excuse to take my time and perhaps stay an extra year. I don’t know why the advice to “not rush” doesn’t make sense until you’ve speed through the finish lines.

But luckily, six years later, I get to go back. And I want you to join me.

I’m excited to announce that this April and June, I will be speaking as a part of the Stanford Health Library Lecture Series. I’ll talk about my life with Lupus and how I keep it from disrupting my education, my life, and most importantly, my food. And I’m sure I’ll throw in a few jokes too.

The first lecture will be on Thursday, April 7th at 7pm at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center.

The second will be on Wednesday, June 22nd at 7pm at the Redwood City Public Library.

You can find more information about the series here:

And please call 650-498-7826 to register for the event. Oh, and it is free! And oh, oh, for those that don’t live around these parts, the talk will be on the YouTube as well.

So if you or a loved one are just starting to navigate a world without salt – or any new life-changing diagnosis – then I hope you join me for these events. It is a great reminder, especially for me, that  none of us are alone with these challenges. And by pooling together our creativity and positive outlooks, we can find ways to make the most of the less-than-ideal cards we are dealt and to change overwhelming obstacles into a piece of cake.

Or a carrot cupcake.

With that, happy weekend and as always, chow on.

lizthechef March 25, 2011 at 11:41 am

You are so my heroine!

Natty March 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

Yay! This is so exciting…I wish I were in the Bay Area to come watch as you inspire hundreds with your story and spirit. Love you so much!!!!

AP March 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Congratulations Jess! So proud of you. I’d love to try and attend the Redwood City talk. Right by my work!

Laura March 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I am so proud of you, Jess! I will catch you on YouTube…I will be in your neck of the woods April 1, 2, 3 and leave on the 4 for Seattle. Would love to catch up with you sometime! Just let me know! Sending best, as ever.
Warm regards,

Wendy March 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I’ll be watching from You Tube.. your story is certainly inspiring.

Samara Meir-Levi March 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Congrats Jess! This sounds awesome! I will definitely try to come to the JCC talk and listen to you charm the socks off all those Jews! Love you tons (and Handro too)!

Paulissa March 26, 2011 at 7:31 am

I will definitely check it out on YouTube. Thanks for the heads up! Where can we find the carrot cupcake recipe???

sodium girl March 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

Hi Paulissa! The recipe will be in the Sodium Girl cookbook! Out next fall. Just a little teaser for your eyes….

Kelly B March 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

please share the youtube video when it’s available! I’d love to share it with my mom. 🙂

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