Author Archives: Candice Galvan

Mask or No Mask? That Is the Question

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, many of us across the country have been doing everything we can to protect those around us and ourselves. I still remember when a federal mask mandate on public transportation was issued in the U.S. at the start of…

Making a Promise and Gaining a Forever Friend

People say that dogs are man’s best friend. In our family, Roxy, our 3-year-old Australian ridgeback rescue, is my 13-year-old daughter Bella’s best friend. Bella has always loved animals, which thankfully runs in the family. When she was hospitalized in 2017 due to a major neuromyelitis optica attack, she…

Moving Forward After an NMO Diagnosis

A chronic illness diagnosis can be stressful, overwhelming, and scary, especially when the illness is rare and has no cure. When my daughter Bella was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) in 2017 at age 9, we were instructed by her doctors to spend one hour online learning everything we could…

When the Caregiver Needs Care

At first glance, many might say that our family appears totally healthy. However, my daughter Bella, 13, fights neuromyelitis optica (NMO) every day, and despite being her caregiver, I have health issues of my own. When Bella got sick in August 2017, I was almost done with the classes…

Making Every Second Count While Waiting for a Miracle

During the six weeks that my daughter Bella, 13, was hospitalized at Children’s Hospital Colorado for a neuromyelitis optica (NMO) attack in 2017, my husband and I kept vigil at her bedside. Too worried to sleep, we prayed for a miracle every night. As soon as we received Bella’s…

Finding Connection and Community in Support Groups

After experiencing all of the challenges that came with my 13-year-old daughter Bella’s neuromyelitis optica (NMO) diagnosis and the rareness of the disease, I wanted to find a way to connect with other NMO patients and caregivers. Bella was so young that I felt I needed the connections to…

How I Found My ‘Courage to Care’

Some people are natural-born performers, leaders, artists, lawyers, doctors, or teachers. I like to say I was born to be a caregiver. Some of my first memories are watching over my younger sister and cousins while we were growing up. I like to think that caregiving is something that runs…