Hi I'm Ally! Honestly I was really hesitant to post this because I want to be strong for others and always stay in a positive light. But with the help of a few friends I realized that asking for help isn’t negative or weak.
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis one year ago and have been struggling to find a treatment that works for me. Unfortunately I've dealt with not having any insurance to having insurance that doesn't cover all of my expenses. The reality is that the longer it takes for me to find a treatment that works for me, the more risky my case becomes (colon cancer etc.) I've been hospitalized twice in the past 3 months because my symptoms have been so severe. I've barely been able to eat because just about everything causes pain. Before my recent hospitalization, I wasn't even able to drink water without having unbearable pain. I love to eat colorful and raw nourishing foods which my body has not been able to handle for a year and will not be able to handle anytime soon. Now I've learned to associate pain with food because that's just what I am used to. Having the ability to nourish your body should never be taken for granted.
I have quite the healthy history - I had a stroke at 23. Turns out my thyroid disease caused atrial flutter which caused my stroke. Thankfully my atrial ablation heart procedure fixed that. Being that I'm extremely weak now, some of my stroke symptoms have come back. I'm limping again, it's harder for me to focus, and my speech can get a bit slurred. To say that my colitis has taken a toll on my body and mind is an understatement.
Check out my Harper's Bazaar story here: I Had a Stroke at 23 Years old and Became a Personal Trainer
I became a personal trainer and group fitness instructor after recovering from my stroke because I gained an immense appreciation for the body and I made it my mission to show others their strength. After enough speech, occupational, and physical therapy, I began to workout and appreciated every second of it. I knew I wanted to empower others and help them become their best selves. Making people feel good is what makes me feel good. Being unable to workout now because of a new health issue has been challenging both mentally and emotionally. For now, my workout is honestly just taking a shower because that's all my body can handle.
I also had to put a harsh pause on my fitness modeling career because I have negative energy and am just unable to workout at all. Working as a fitness model was truly an accomplishment I was proud of and it definitely hurts not being able to perform anymore. I can't wait for the day until I have enough energy to jump around set!
I don't know how long it's going to take for me to find a treatment that works for me and I definitely don't know when I'll be able to really work again. I'm learning to take this day by day although that's definitely easier said than done.
With all of this going on, I am still so thankful that my body is continuing to fight for me and continues to be my biggest cheerleader. I'm extremely grateful for what it's been getting me through. It's a long road but I know I am on the right one and that's what matters.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT SO MUCH xoxo
- Nina Marchione
- Hannah DelMonte
Rockaway Park, NY