Health

The chronically ill: Hope looks like ...

Updated 1:27 PM ET, Tue September 11, 2012
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"I have hope in the miraculous way God gave them to us, and knowing I have seen miracles," says Sarah Le Bre, who lives with fibromyalgia, stenosis, temporomandibular joint disorder and chronic migraines. Rest Ministries
"This little fur ball has brought me joy and has helped with my depression from COPD," said Linda Atwater, who lives with chronic pulmonary obstructive disease and has difficulty breathing. Rest Ministries
Alice Teisan has had chronic fatigue syndrome for the past 20 years. An avid cyclist who can no longer cycle, she founded His Wheels International in 2005 to help provide transportation to those in need. Here, parents Kern and Dawna Lunde watch physical therapist Nancy Biedry coach their daughter Anika, who is paralyzed from the waist down, as she learns to use her new trike prototype. Rest Ministries
"The picture represents the hope of my children needing desperately for their father to keep fighting and be there for them," said Andy Barwick, who is fighting a rare disease called chronic-progressive neuro-Behcet's, along with another "unknown serious neurological disease." Rest Ministries
"Only God would think of giving me a little bird, who does silly things to make me laugh and remind me of God's constant love -- the source of hope," said Rhonda Sawtelle, who injured her back in 2000 and lives with chronic pain from the injury and multiple surgeries. Rest Ministries
Kara Marks said her grandson, Elliott, "gives me hope as I watch him grow. I'm so blessed that I'm still around to help raise him and am still physically able to babysit him." Marks has had multiple sclerosis for 20 years, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and arthritis two years ago and was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. Her cancer is in remission. Rest Ministries
"Seeing cousins grow up together through the years, despite the hundreds of miles, always gives me hope that the love of family will carry on," said Lisa Copen who lives with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and founded Rest Ministries to serve the chronically ill. Rest Ministries
"Constant companion, ever by my side, unconditional love," said Crystal Wilson of her cat. "An instant bond from adoption day on." Wilson lives with a variety of illnesses including central pain syndrome, seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Rest Ministries
"My son is my inspiration, the reason I get out of bed in the morning," said Elizabeth DeLouise. "I have to live up to being the best mommy in the world." DeLouise has more than a dozen diagnoses, including lupus and bipolar disorder. Rest Ministries
Kelly Wahle lives with chronic migraine disease, Meniere's disease, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety. Her dog, Mr. Knightley, passed away recently. He "always took care of me," she said. Rest Ministries