May 4, 2014 in The Cast
How to maintain a smile
What does it take for someone to be happy? It mostly depends on the person. Some people love having other people around them. Others prefer money and admiration. Some people’s happiness comes from making other people happy. But what if life gives you more reasons to be sad than to be happy? How would you still be able to smile? Why should you?
Smiling, as small a gesture as it may seem, can have a huge impact on your surroundings. I’m not just talking about one smile, but seas of them, spread throughout your daily life. Smiling isn’t just the act or hoisting up those corners of your mouth. It’s an attitude. And although some people don’t seem to have a reason to smile, they do it anyway. Why? Because it makes them happy. Because they choose to be happy. That’s right; happiness is a choice. I am a firm believer in that. But it’s not always an easy one.
A Helping Hand
For almost every one of you reading this, The Longest Journey has brought you a lot of smiles. For some even more than others. A person who’s made a huge contribution to that for many of you is Sarah Hamilton. Her gorgeous portrayal of April Ryan played a huge part in how the story was perceived. But she wasn’t done giving smiles away after The Longest Journey.
Sarah has helped turn bleakness into joy for over a decade by getting involved with Statement Arts, a not-for-profit organization that believes in the power of art to inspire social and cultural change. You can read more about that on her Wiki-page, her website or the Statement Arts website. She also works as a life coach, which you can read about here. But now it’s Sarah’s turn to be helped.
The Short End
Since 2002 Sarah’s been camping with a number of medical problems. An excerpt from what she wrote about it:
“I was diagnosed in 2002 with Multiple Sclerosis, then 18 months later with Stage 2 Parotid (Salivary) Gland Cancer. [...] My back was subsequently operated on due to a completely extruded disc in 2010. In 2013 I slipped and fell on the ice and needed surgery in my hand due to a ruptured tendon. Also one of the main MS symptoms are many many migraines. At one point they were up to 25 a month. Thankfully they are now down to about 10. All of this … has led to bills, some of which I am still paying off without rancor.” – Sarah Hamilton
And still she chose to keep on smiling. But even people as positive as Sarah aren’t invincible. On April 2nd of this year she had to go back to the hospital for back surgery.
“I spent 4 days in the hospital post surgery due to drainage tubes, IV’s and pain management that could not be medically supervised at home. I am now home and bills are coming in, which doesn’t allow for ease of healing due to stress. The stress of which has caused an MS relapse which has come in the form of severe vertigo. This doesn’t make movement easy, which is crucial to my healing. One doesn’t want to topple over after a back fusion, that’s not such a good idea…” – Sarah Hamilton
Sometimes it’s the helpers that need help. And Sarah’s ready to acknowledge that. She’s started a fund raising campaign on GoFundMe.com in the hope that people will lend her a helping hand with her immensely high medical bills.
If you feel like she’s helped bring joy to your life, or if you feel like helping a good person who’s in need, please visit her GoFundMe page, read her full story and donate something. Every dollar helps maintain not only the smile she’s projected onto the world, but also those that have and will be in the world as a consequence.