Content Warning: panic attacks, mental health, grief, and depression
star·dust | \ ˈstär-ˌdəst \
Definition of stardust
: a feeling or impression of romance, magic, or ethereality
Pretty beautiful huh. Welcome to Stardust, a little slice of the Internet dedicated to the story of us. I could tell you the story about where we came from, how we started in a high school classroom, or whatnot but if you really wanna know that you can look at the “Our History” or “Our Story” section of our website. Stardust is for much more magical sections than that.
First, you’re probably wondering–what is up with these people and their obsession with stars? Good question. So for any of you who know about our story, you’ll know my uncle passed away from stage four colon cancer when I was a junior in high school (this isn’t a light story, so maybe another time). What I will tell you though is grief is probably one of the hardest feelings in the world. Grief makes getting up in the morning, finding purpose, and honestly not wanting to lay in bed and hide in the fetal position from the world because it’s too hard (take it from someone who’s been there a few too many times). Grief is all-consuming; it makes it hard to move forward to live and to let live. But probably worst of all, grief isn’t a once and done. Grief hits pretty hard in the first few weeks and months after, but it comes back time and time again. When it comes back, it honestly feels just as bad as it did in the moment. Grief touches every person differently but for me it culminates in panic attacks, depressive episodes, and just overall making it pretty hard to live.
I remember during one of these particularly bad episodes one of my closest friends sat with me and asked me if I knew he was still with me. I rolled my eyes and looked at him like he was crazier than I was–quite a feat to say the least. He then proceeded to explain how our loved ones are always with us, emotionally, spiritually, and in the ways they influence our lives. Thus began my obsession with stars, after of course adding like five songs to my grief playlist (Spotify mood playlists are very on brand for me).
One of those songs of course is “When I Look to the Sky” by Train yes, one of the good ones. Right at the chorus, I cry just about every time I hear this lyric:
“Cause when I look to the sky something tells me you’re here with me, and you make everything alright.”
I’ve always been obsessed with sunsets (being from Oklahoma does that to you), but I didn’t really grow up seeing a ton of stars. I only saw them in passing on retreats, lake trips, or other adventures that take you far away from the suburbs and the city. But that made those moments so much more special to me, there’s something about being far away from your reality with no bars on your phone and looking up at a sky of a million stars without a care in the world. One of those moments that makes you feel like you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open. There’s an Eskimo legend out there that says “Perhaps they are not stars in the sky but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.” Honestly, this is how I like to think about my uncle, not suffering any longer, just outrageously happy and waiting for the rest of our crazy family to join him. And thus began our foundation’s obsession with stars.
Stardust is a place that humanizes us, that gives us meaning beyond numbers and the impact in our communities. Because while those are obviously important, Limitless Foundation is as much of a community as it as a charitable organization. It’s a place for caregivers, patients, advocates, volunteers, and everyone in between. Stardust is a place for you to describe your happy memories volunteering with us but also the not so happy stories like my own. It’s a place to describe the fight for accessible and equitable healthcare and a place to set the grassroots movement into motion. It’s a place for your voice and I can’t wait to share it with you. I’d like to share with you some of my favorite constellations and the meaning behind them in this sky.
The Stars in My Sky
This post would have without a doubt been a Stars in my Sky post if it hadn’t been our first one introducing Stardust. The Stars in My Sky is a place for vulnerability, a place to share the stories that make us who we are. Through the Stars in My Sky we hope to hear about your good times and your not so good times. We hope to hear about your life inside Limitless and outside of Limitless. The Stars in My Sky is a section dedicated to you: the patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, students, and so much more in our network. We want to know what keeps you up at night, why you work with Limitless, your go-to karaoke song, in short what makes you you.
Our mission is to fight for accessible and equitable healthcare for all patients regardless of their background, socioeconomic status, race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and so much more. The Rundown is a look at the state of the status quo, information and education on legislation and policy. It is a space for education in this galaxy.
Knit With It
We believe in the human side of healthcare, the tangible items that provide a patient that small sense of comfort during treatment. In this constellation we’ll be sharing some of our favorite patterns, current projects we’re working on, and outstanding work from our volunteer network.
Beyond the Bio
Beyond the Bio is a space where you get to meet your Exec and leadership. Learn about our days, why we work with Limitless, what we do when not working or thinking about this project.
I’m so excited to have you on this journey with us and to hear your voices and stories on this platform! You make the Limitless galaxy possible and each one of you is integral in making this project happen.
Founder & CEO