Member of the Month
Each month Narcolepsy Network highlights a Member of the Month who makes a difference in the narcolepsy community. If you would like to nominate a Narcolepsy Network member who is helping raise awareness of narcolepsy or doing work to benefit the narcolepsy community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to submit a nomination is the 20th of every month for the next month.
Congratulations to our Members of the Month and thank you for all you do!
Meet our January Member of the Month, Danielle Brooks
Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life it’s about what you inspire others to do. – anonymous
My name is Danielle Brooks. I am 17 and a junior in high school. I have an older brother Austin who attends Georgia Tech and a younger sister Gianna who is in 7th grade. My parents Chris and Diana are always there for the three of us. They encourage my siblings and me to follow our dreams, do our best and pursue what we believe in everyday. I am convinced that it is this encouragement, which inspired me to determine shortly after my diagnosis that I would not let this illness define who I am, but instead it would make me a better stronger person. I knew God wouldn’t give me something I couldn’t handle. A short time later, I found “my” C.S. Lewis Quote and I took it to heart….he wrote “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
As most of us have probably done, after my diagnosis, I scoured the Internet. I have to say, it was hard to stay positive. There are many, many heart-wrenching stories out there. However, I did see one beacon of light that I seemed to really grasp on to. It is Julie Flygare’s running of the Boston Marathon. She called herself the REM runner and given what I was going through, this seemed really important to me. You see, I am a competitive swimmer. I thought to myself, I could inspire the world with my swimming. My brother even nicknamed me the “Nautical Narcoleptic.”
Three years later, I am doing much better in my swimming but I am still a long way from inspiring many folks, yet alone the world. (Give me a little more time; I am still working on it.) I have tried to be an outspoken advocate for Narcolepsy. I talk to students and faculty at school, neighbors, news reporters, my other doctors, even during sporting events, pretty much anyone with ears.
Because of my chatter, I have met two wonderful young ladies (ages 11&12) who have recently been diagnosed with Narcolepsy. They inspire me to do more and I hope I inspire them that they can have a balanced workable life with good grades, sports and friends.
Somewhere along the line, I realized the arrogance of thinking that I can inspire the world alone. Don’t get me wrong; I am not going to give up. But, I have realized that I needed help and that I cannot be afraid to ask…
So…I am asking YOU! Help inspire the Narcolepsy WORLD with me! Send me your inspiring story of how you are “Succeeding With Narcolepsy.” Are you a Doctor, Lawyer, Singer, Dancer, Teacher, Mechanic, Community Volunteer, Sky Diver, Lion Tamer, Nurse, College Athlete, or Aspiring Athlete? Are you a Student on your way to success and greatness? Tell me about it. Did you run your first 5K this year? Tell me how and why you did it. Are you a great Mom, Dad or Partner with Narcolepsy or helping someone succeed with Narcolepsy? Tell me your story of winning. WE ALL WANT TO HEAR IT AND IN FACT THE WORLD WILL TAKE NOTICE AND BE INSPIRED. Trust me, you don’t have to be the best at anything, I just want to hear your story of success and no success is too small.
Visit www.Succeedingwithnarcolepsy.com, and read about famous people with narcolepsy who have gone before us. In addition, we also have “Soon to be Famous People with Narcolepsy,” like you and me. Eleven people have already shared their success story. Trinity, one of the little girls I mentioned above, is on the site. She was named the Gatorade Player of the Game at the county Basketball Championship. We have doctors, students, artists, an engineer, and even a real Antarctic explorer. I want to post your “Succeeding With Narcolepsy Story” to inspire others. It will reach someone at the right place and right time to make a difference.
Finally, I want to thank Narcolepsy Network for all the great work they do the and for letting me tell my story and sharing my site with you.
Sincerely, Danielle Brooks