Welcome to Design To Live! This isn’t your typical “design” blog, though it will include a lot of design, from my own ideas to my favorite finds … but most of all it is where I can share my life and my story and how I literally use design to keep living every day! My hope is that one day my medical nightmare will be over and I will soon get to Live to Design!
Reading my story will help you better understand the voice behind my words… why certain things mean so much to me, why others carry so much pain, or why I have such passion for even the smallest dreams. It tells of the healthy life I came from and how I ended up in Pittsburgh with a four organ transplant of my stomach, pancreas, duodenum and small bowel! If that isn’t crazy enough, the stories that follow only add to the heartbreak and pain and the shock that any of this could have happened in the first place!
After bleeding out and flatlining, November 2008, my body completely shut down post-surgery. I had one more surgery during the 3 months I was in hospital that followed, my last to date, but nothing has been right since. I feel like I died that day and a part of me never came back… I was at rock bottom, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well…and my families financial stress was like icing on the cake! That was when I found House Hunters International, which became my medicinal escape from reality… that led to Income Property… Dear Genevieve… and soon a slew of others, as I discovered a passion for design and architecture I never knew I had! It saved me… HGTV and its various shows literally changing my life, opening the door to all the “non-medical” things we’ve been doing to survive. None of its been easy, but without it things could have been even worse…
My new dreams and goals have helped keep my spirit strong! They’ve given me something to live for that will not only help my family, but will help others in need at the same time! I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know I don’t want all I’ve fought for to be for nothing… I’m hoping to create something good out of a terrible situation, helping as many people as I can with what time I may or may not have left and surrounding myself with as much love and happiness as I can.
Design To Live is for old friends and new, for those who are interested in my story and everything thats happened, to those who may find support as they go through their own medical struggle… or perhaps you found your way here because you were inspired by a blog about design, architecture or DIY! Whatever brought you, I hope you find something you enjoy… something that captures your heart and leaves you wanting more…!
Have fun looking around!… everything is new so there isn’t much to see yet, but if you have any questions or are inspired by anything you’d like to see more of, please let me know… leave comments, get involved, share it with others if you wish! . This is my access to the outside world… and as much as I’m doing the blog for myself, so I can share who I am inside, including the girl I can’t physically be… I’m hoping this is where I can also give back, where I can medically update those supporting me as well as share the good that keeps me going! You can read about my plan/goal to help other transplant families, the projects I’m working on to help my family however I can, fundraisers, events, hobbies and dreams, and most of all my new passion for design that has helped inspire it all…
I’m doing my best to keep living for the future, unable to take part in life for so many years, but I can at least share what I’ve been learning and working on from home with design, real estate, DIY and renovations… the designers/mentors who have inspired me, my addiction to HGTV, and my newest love of Storage Wars, American Pickers, Auction Hunters and American Restoration… I’ve been in a prison with only my thoughts year after year, using dreams to keep me moving forward and then having to let them all go. With so much unknown I’m now trying to do what I can as is and hoping it may open future doors to a life that is secretly waiting for me! I do need a miracle, which may not be my destiny, but I’ll keep believing in it until the end and at least make what time I have left the best it can be!!