Seeds of Grace

One night in the hospital, I had an epiphany. With the midnight stillness floating in through the vacant windows of my “penthouse” room, the stillness spoke. My weary mind turned sloppy pirouettes,
devoid of its characteristic rapid-fire analysis. You’re making survival choices. Suddenly, it all made sense. My frantic clinging to every morsel of life, whether benevolent or somehow unsavory, was

My physiology penetrated every fiber of my being, starving not only for caloric sustenance, but also for the remnants of life. Stealing whatever shreds of life I can, tucking away affection, tattered shreds
of half-right living, is yet another survival technique. What if this boyfriend, this holiday, this meal—is my last? Sure, some idealistic compartment of my being castigates me for settling, for accepting a
relationship or excursion that denies my full humanity, but really, I’m far from residing in a palace of idealistic whimsy. I’m just trying not to be dead. It suddenly seemed entirely rational to gobble up whatever meager crumbs of imposter love that I could, to bask in a facsimile of nourishing sunlight because even the wrong thing must be better than nothing.

AHA! I thought, sorting through murky layers of sludgy fatigue. I offered myself a rare token of acceptance, even compassion, for making choices that don’t exactly align with my moral compass. It’s okay,
Briana. It’s okay to choose the survival boyfriend, the less-than-enjoyable outing, to somehow capitulate to whatever feels
intrinsically ill-fitting. In the stiff hospital bed, submerged by starchy sheets triggering angry inflammatory cells, I gave myself just a smidge of grace.

I look to the shadowed walls, consulting the dark caverns of the room for any sign of confirmation. The neon glow of screens, the constant chug of pumps offer nothing. No matter, I tell myself. Survival choices are worthy choices.

In the subsequent days, I’ll throw whatever seeds of grace I’d began to sow, out the window of my penthouse hospital palace window. Though encased in a layer or ten of lethargy and all-encompassing paralysis,
the other, familiar and demanding tendrils will win, again.

The survival boyfriend will no longer cut it. I will be unwilling to settle. I will hear the distant cries of my damn moral compass,
pulling me away from situations, people, agreements for the sake of checking living proof experiences off the list. Something will no longer be better than nothing.

In my emaciated, empty, cavernous bones, I will demand better. Because the wrong thing is just the wrong thing, even when it feels like the only thing. IV tubes tangled, pumps chugging, I’ll walk away from a
quarter life, searching for a whole life.

Coffee & My Book Giveaway!

We’re currently hosting a giveaway! This is a wonderful opportunity to win 1 pound of our Guardians of Hope Blend as well as a copy of my new book, Yes To All Things Me. Be sure to enter to win on Instagram or Facebook at Heart Bean Coffee

Good coffee does good and so do you. Happy new year!

My Book Is Here!

“Don’t say that!” When I began purging toxic trauma upon the page many years ago, it was not allowed. Society told me in no uncertain terms that the complex emotions that tortured my flesh were not for public consumption. Well, they are now!

My book “Yes To All Things Me” is HERE!💥 This book is the most authentic and uncensored way to know where I have been and what I have survived. I am so grateful to the incredible team of artists and graphic designers Charlotte Hall and Ginny Schafer Westcott who have skillfully collaborated with me to illustrate my words so precisely. Joy, joy, joy! What an incredible opportunity it is for me to experience my own words in this way. The words you’ll find here have saved my life. It is my hope that in some way, they will validate yours. Buy HERE!

Friends From Afar

Everybody loves a brave girl. What I love even more, though, is a girl who broadcasts her vulnerability with unabashed transparency; who unfolds authentically without apology; who shares centuries of wisdom with one gaze. I have been following this girl, Indy, on Instagram as her mother Terah shares their journey. So captivated have I become by their story that I find myself wondering about their well-being throughout my day. Even though I have never met this dynamic duo in person, I recognize so many pieces of my past in their present, and perhaps, in their future. In addition to currently receiving chemotherapy treatment, Indy is a beautiful toddler who happens to have down syndrome. The mix of medical and health conditions coupled with disability resonates deeply with my own life. My matriculation within the medical community and disability realm began at birth with my anoxia and sustaining cerebral palsy. Without a committed, intelligent and principled mother, I believe that this process would have been far more damaging to my psyche than it has been. From the unwavering commitment to her daughter, I catch glimpses of my own mother in Terah. Most demonstrative of a commitment to walk the talk, I was recently moved by a short video of Indy cleaning her baby doll during a long stay at the hospital. In addition to the gentle caress, I noticed the baby had dark skin and tresses. Within the single snapshot, a most beautiful representation of inclusion resonated. In addition, the message of love, unconditional and unwavering even in the most daunting of circumstances bloomed brightly. Though from a far, I am honored to share a snippet of this family’s journey, cheering them on day by day. I’m in your corner, Terah and Indy.

 You can find Terah here:

Do No Harm

“Do no harm.” Time traveling within the folds of my mind orients me to a time when, with my innocent aspirations for untethered social service, I wanted to be a doctor. Knowing now what I do, having survived many times in spite of traditional medical care, I am envious of a reality where doctors do not cultivate harm, do not become misguided, complacent, lazy or discriminatory. That is not reality. It has become evident, that like my six-year-old self, many people gifted with the freedom of brilliant health believe that doctors do only good, are diligent givers and fastidious overachievers. Whatever illusions culture propagates about heroic physicians, keep in mind that these are archetypal. If somebody you know is ill, chances are in large part, they’re saving their own lives. Do no harm… I don’t want to be a doctor anymore. I have to be. .


For those of you leading your own journey to living your best lives, we are here for you. When you need to vent, cry, laugh or strategize, remember we’re in your corner.


Guardians of Hope is excited to be partnering with FreeArm Tube Feeding Assistant for a giveaway (a $75 value.) This is a unique opportunity to utilize a medical device that can provide additional support and freedom for individuals who utilize tube feeding and IV nutrition! To enter the giveaway on Instagram, follow us @guardiansofhopeinc
Giveaway ends February 14!

Health Update

Hi friends! After a year of treatment for various infections, viruses and other microbes compromising the function of my digestion, it’s time for some testing to see how far we’ve come and what we still have left to conquer. I am excited for some factual data about the state of gut! The comprehensive test is $200. If you are able to make a contribution to facilitate the gathering of this important information, that would be amazing! Thank you all so much for being such incredible supporters!

Click here!

Academic Advising

I wanted to take a few moments to talk with you about the founding principles of the Guardians of Hope Academic Advsing Philosophy. I subscribe to the ideology that disability is a social construct, meaning it is created by humans. The collection of physical manifestations associated with disability as a label are ascribed, not inherent. What this means is that the “limitations” society informs people with disabilities that they have are subjective. These are PERCEIVED limitations. The necessity of accommodations for facilitating educational accessibility does not signify any kind of weakness or lack of ability. 

Because I believe we all have the right to accessible, inclusive education, I am dedicated to advocating for nothing less than equal. The self-confidence I developed throughout my school years empowered me to never think twice about asking for what I needed. The mentality of motivation and self-image can be crucial in the trajectory of your college experience. Do you believe you deserve to have equal access, education and success in college? YES! You do! I am here for you, every step of the way.
Email me to schedule a complimentary conversation at

Guardians of Hope

New Website!

BIG NEWS FRIENDS! Guardians of Hope now has a website! After researching for a couple of months, creating content and preparation, we now have a one stop shop for all things GUARDIAN! Check out our growing services, meet and greet with award recipients, access resources for self-advocacy and be sure to check out our blog, Guardian Gab! You might recognize some of your dearest friends from the online chronic illness community! Including your photos, your voices, your visions is crucial to our mission.

Honestly, I believed that creating a website was beyond my ability level. But, I did it! We are doing this; modeling supportive Community health solutions! AND… I am so excited to announce that we will soon be providing parent to parent supportive sessions! Please follow @guardiansofhopeinc for updates! What do you all think of the website? 

Guardians of Hope

Disability and Higher Education

With more than 40 million Americans with disabilities (2016 statistics) and federally mandated accessibility laws, you might be surprised to learn that a disproportionately low number of people with disabilities have a college degree. Individuals age 25 and older with a disability who have a college degree comprise 16.4% of the population in comparison with 34.6% of people without a disability (Bureau of Labor.).



Societal standards and expectations for people with disabilities make it difficult to pursue higher education. Not only are there few public role models to demonstrate a path toward this journey, there is resistance from bureaucratic institutions toward people with disabilities in pursuing their aspirations. We are here to tell you that you can pursue your dreams of higher education! No matter what the circumstances of your ability levels or health, you deserve equal access, reasonable accommodations and support. In addition to validating your educational aspirations, we can provide advocacy and education to facilitate your progress in a higher education. Whether you’re interested in online classes or attending school on campus, there are a variety of tools available to empower your success. Let’s connect with a complimentary conversation! Message us to schedule an appointment or email us at