“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
He is tall, broad and determined. She is strong, swift, and driven. They are skilled, with natural abilities that have been enhanced and honed by training. They are monuments to perfection. They stand out in a crowd. They inspire hope, they represent security. They are an ideal. A class all their own. They are the stuff of legend, of story, of film. Although human, there is something “other” about them. They face their enemies without fear. They can see the weakness in the eyes of the ones across the battlefield, across the ring. They are ready. Created for moments like this, the seconds before the battle, the fight. Breath in, breath out. They assess their opponent with a precision bought through experience. Each wound inflicted is a lesson learned. Each scar received is glory earned. We know them, we see them facing life, enemies, challenges with a certainty of their ability to triumph.
She is frail, thin and pale. He is bent, tired and foggy. They seem to be shadows of people. Place markers holding the space where their real selves once were. Their gait, once a spring, a bounce is now an uneasy shuffle, a slow, careful step. They are monuments to “I used to be …”. They are a class all their own. Although human, there is something “other” about them. They face each challenge with a fearlessness that has been won through experience. Their enemy has no face, wears no armor, plays by no rules and yet, they fight. Perhaps they don’t stand out in a crowd, but after a moment, a story, they inspire hope and a deep admiration. They assess each new symptom with a knowledge bought by experience. Each new vial of blood drawn is a step closer. Each setback is an incentive to shout “I will be again!” We know them. We see them facing life challenges with a hard-earned certainty of their ability to triumph.
These people are warriors. One set is easier to spot than the other. One set is more obvious than the other. But make no mistake, the other is just as strong, just as tested as the first. A true warrior is not judged by size, they are judged by the challenges they’ve faced and outfaced. By the strength to fall, rise and fight again. Sometimes the greatest warrior is the quietest warrior. Sometimes the hardest battle is fought within oneself. Sometimes the most worthy triumph is simply to rise and face the new day. And sometimes, the strongest warrior shows their strength by asking for help. At IVYE, we are here for the strongest warriors.
At IVYE we’re inside the fight living it, surviving it day to day. We are chronic illness warriors who don’t stand back and shout encouragement from the sidelines, we hold your hand in the countless examination rooms, we share your worries in the chemotherapy suites and we understand your frustrations with each new test result that reveals no more than the dozen or so that have come before. We gather and bolster your dignity when yet another doctor sees you as only a vessel of symptoms and sickness. We give warmth and comfort when you are cold, waiting in a soulless room to be poked and prodded once more, like a crash test dummy on a busman’s holiday. Comfort, care and dignity, all delivered, not by visitors to your world but by those who dwell in it with you.
A warrior’s armor can look very different depending on the battle they’re fighting. Our warriors need armor that keeps them warm, allows easy access to veins and arteries so that doctors can do their work while our warriors remain comfortable and retain their hard-earned dignity.
Many warriors who are battling chronic illness can often feel as if they no longer exist in the world. People who fight with a chronic illness that limits their energy are often faced with friends and family fading from their everyday life, leaving them feeling isolated, forgotten, and without support. A chronic illness warrior can fall into patterns of moving from one dehumanizing doctors visit to the next. Their dignity, their basic humanity can become a second thought to doctors, nurses, and people in general. We know this because we’ve been there and we understand the incredible impact of meeting someone who cares and listens.
IVYE is more than just a clothing line. Yes, we design and create intuitive, practical, comfortable, stylish clothing that supports and serves our chronic warriors in their everyday battles, but we offer more. We are a forum for those with chronic illness to communicate with other warriors to share stories, offer encouragement, tips for daily life, hacks for trying times or simply to offer assurance to others that they are far from alone in their battle or in this world. Because we are a company founded by a chronic warrior we have a unique perspective on their lives, specific needs and the challenges they overcome. With our clothing, our IVYE wear, we fight for the humanity, comfort, and dignity of all chronic warriors. We understand the struggles, we care about our people, we support our chronic warriors in all their endeavors and we’re proud to count ourselves among them.
If you’re a chronic warrior, you know one, love one, come to our website, IVYE.com, check out our line of IVYE Wear and connect with others in the IVYE community. Share your story, share your strength, apply for our ambassador program and tell us how you remain IVYE strong.