• Branwen Defren


Updated: Aug 29, 2018

The past few days I have had the honor of taking over @ClaraHealth's instagram page. This organization is incredible at connecting patients not only with each other but with incredible clinical trials.

I'm hoping to share the other posts I created, but for now, I wanted to start with the last and most recent one because Instagram actually didn't let me share everything I wanted to say. TBH, I didn't even know it had a word count! This is a smidge nerve wracking to let out in the open, but in a good way. It's nice to get it out and feel heard. Honestly, I'd been feeling really depleted recently but I digress. Here's the full post of what I wanted to say

"Hi everyone! My last post is a bit long (sorry!) but I hope you’ll stick it out.

These 2 pics are from last year. The 1st is when I was hospitalized for a week and the 2nd is me in London, but it represents two big aspects of my life: Hospitals and Beds.

Laying down in bed has been an necessity these past ~5 years. Laying in bed with multiple ice packs and a bag of meds beside me and staring at different ceilings of different rooms. Writing these posts have made me reflect on these past few years, and now that I realize so many things have happened.. 2 different colleges, 5 trips abroad, 50+ domestic trips, 100+ doctor & hospital visits, first real jobs, new friends made and lost. It’s been a jam packed 5 years and I for sure haven’t loved a large percentage of it, but it’s created a new me.

Before I was a bubbly high schooler who wanted to do everything I possibly could, I loved any kind of sport I tried and could proudly out sprint most people (just sprinting though I sucked at long distance haha) But now, I’m for sure much more emotional and empathetic, definitely more patient, and I’m much more focused on self care. It’s more important than I ever realized.

The biggest thing that’s affected my life, especially in this last brutal year is my girlfriend. We actually met during my study abroad trip in the Balkans, where she actually helped carry me. Since then she has flown across an ocean to bring me meds, she’s helped me get into bed more than I care to think, she’s taken me to the hospital, come with me as an “emotional support animal” for doctor appointments, held me when I’ve been in pain and crying so many times I can’t even count, and even now is my biggest supporter and drive for me to keep pushing for the life I want to live.

While I don’t always like going to the doctor, it has still saved my life. One of the most important things medicine does is research, research to find what works and what doesn’t which ultimately leads to new treatments, and miraculously, even cures. Clinical trials are a major source of finding that new treatment that can help those most in need of finding a solution. Someday, I truly hope to be apart of one if I’m able to find a diagnosis because that could possibly mean I could hold all the “spoons” I want for the life I still dream to have.

Thank you all so much for sticking with my story these past few days, it’s truly been such a rewarding experience and I’m so honored I got the chance to do it. So much love and healing vibes to all those who need it! If you’re ever interested in getting in touch please don’t hesitate."

Well that's a wrap. Thank you all for taking the time to read this post. It truly means a lot to me.