My Work Connections Blossomed Into Close Friendships

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by Halsey Blocher |

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swallowing issues | SMA News Today | banner image for Halsey Blocher's column "From Where I Sit," which shows an open book among ferns, along with some closed books and a pair of glasses

April has been a special month for me. It probably always will be because April is when I get to celebrate the anniversary of starting my dream job here at BioNews, the company that publishes this website.

Last year, I dedicated a column to a few of the people who helped make my first year on the job a success. That list included you, my readers. I’m still extremely grateful for you and everyone else who has supported me on this journey.

I also thanked my amazing co-workers who have always faithfully stood by me on this writing venture. This year, I want to dedicate an entire column to them.

Every person who works at BioNews is worthy of being mentioned here, but I want to specifically thank Brad Dell, Matt Lafleur, Jen Cueva, and Jenn Powell. These incredible people have not only played important roles in helping me along my career path, but they have also become some of my closest friends.

If you don’t know them (or even if you do), I encourage you to check out their columns — “Victorious,” “Little Victories,” “Worth the PHight,” and “Silver Linings.”

The five of us have become closer than I would have imagined in the last couple years. We’ve bonded over faith, our pets, humor, our individual disability journeys, and much more.

I’m the only one in this circle that has SMA, and not a single person has the same disease as another. But we still find commonalities in what we each go through every day. More importantly, we support one another in the things we can relate to and the things we may never fully understand.

When one of us is struggling with medical complications or having a bad day, the rest of us rally together to offer prayer, encouragement, a listening ear, and anything else we can give.

We don’t just come together when life doesn’t go the way we want, though. Whenever something good happens, our group chat quickly explodes with a flurry of notifications that signal cause for joy. From positive doctors’ reports to beautiful weather, from birthday festivities to promotions, and everything in between, we share our triumphs and happiness.

These friends make my life better. They make me better. They help keep me focused on positive things, nurture my faith, make me laugh, teach me new things, challenge my mind with meaningful conversation, and support me in everything I do. They are walking (or rolling) beside me as I grow into the best version of myself that I can be.

When I started this job two years ago, I hoped I would make new friends, but these friendships have exceeded my expectations. I can’t imagine my life without these four fantastic people.

I hope you also are blessed with quality friends, whether you met them at work or elsewhere. If you haven’t found them yet, keep looking. I promise, they’re worth the wait.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.

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