Although recovering from pneumonia, Shira stood stronger than ever. As the sun shined brightly over hundreds of people, she was ready to make her voice heard. Against doctor’s orders, Shira showed up that morning prepared to fight for a right that many people cannot live without; healthcare.
Shira Strongin, a 17 year old warrior, shared her story with hundreds of strangers without the faintest trace of hesitation. In this moment, all of her troubles melted away, as frost turns to dew on a spring morning. Shira was determined that nothing would stand in her way.
She held up her sign that exclaimed:
“18 should be a celebration, not a death sentence!”
high above her head, for everyone to see.
In that instant, not only did those hundreds of strangers hear Shira’s voice, but they heard the voice of every chronic illness warrior. Although she may never know their faces, or their names, she spoke for all of them; she fought for all of them.
Shira’s story began when she was very young. Diagnosis after diagnosis, hospitalization after hospitalization, surgery after surgery, stroke after stroke… Shira Strongin is no stranger to the hospital. Shira began her work in advocacy through a blog she put together at ten. Blogging under the name “Sick Chick” she was able to spread her love and positivity. A few years later, her blog was moved to TCAPP’s website. As time went on, Shira gained the confidence to identify as The Sick Chick, founding her own website called The Sick Chicks. Today, The Sick Chicks is an entire community created by passion and held together with support.
Shira discusses the issues, which otherwise would go unrecognized. She continues to remind the chronic illness community they are not alone. Shira hopes that by sharing her story, she will spark confidence and outspokenness within other young girls experiencing similar challenges.
Giving up is not an option for Shira. Although only 17, and not old enough to vote, she is determined that health care will not be taken away from the American people. Though she does not know their faces, or even their names, Shira will continue to fight for the chronic illness community.