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Darcy Bonjour (She / Her)

State: Kansas

Chronic Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Long COVID, Vestibular dysfunction, Late-deafened, Migraine

My health journey started in early childhood with hearing loss and migraine. As I became older my health problems decided to increase and add chronic migraine, osteoarthritis and vestibular disorders to name a few. And why stop there? I became a late-deafened adult with cochlear implants. Later I got long covid which has resulted in hypotension, chronic hives, chronic fatigue, brain fog, dygsgeusia and parosmia. Through the years I have had about 24 surgeries (it's hard to keep count.) I have a lot of daily pain and fatigue. My significant arthritis and surgeries on my hands have taken away my ability to be a hand model. But thankfully my illnesses are invisible so I usually look nice and healthy to everyone! And perhaps that is the best thing to happen throughout all these years. My sense of humor and joy in life has grown. I can't heal myself, but I can do my best to make my days happy ones.

I advocate because I want to encourage others in their everyday life and help them seek good healthcare. I had to stop working when I lost my hearing and became chronically ill. My job involved working in the disability field. I always had a passion to help others. After I stopped working, it was quite isolating to suddenly be deaf, sick and unable to go back to a job I loved. In time I became involved in online pain groups. I began to help by encouraging others to advocate for their healthcare and I tried to provide inspiration for their daily life. It began to help me and gave me purpose by reaching out to others and helping them. It was fun and exciting and I never looked back.