Why this blog?

Welcome! Thank you for visiting my blog!

This is my medical and recreational blogsite. Some of the entries on this blog are honest and quite vulnerable, as I wrote them at my lowest point. I try to keep a positive outlook on life, because no one wants to hang out with a downer, including me. Writing these entries has allowed me to see the world through a beneficial filter that allows me to appreciate every moment I have been able to experience in my life, even the difficult ones.

My husband Matthew and I LIVE when we can. I mean we suck the juice out of life, and we aren't ashamed of that outlook. It makes the bad times ok somehow because we took advantage when we were able. The pictures on this blog are part of that. I take pretty pictures of my sick body to boost my self esteem when I am having a difficult time seeing myself as a woman instead of a sick person. It is how I cope with my illness, and no one gets to judge how you survive your difficulties. So live on, and feed your souls.

Watch our story here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG_mrDJ10LM&feature=youtu.be


~ Tonia

I have decided to relaunch my Facebook Page, The Beauty in Illness. Along with the help of two other rare patient advocates, we are hoping to include artistic stories of struggle and perseverence through creative ways. Please check us out and let us know if you would like to contribute!




Hospital Me THEN (2012)

Hospital Me THEN (2012)
Dance like no one is watching!

Hospital me NOW (2015)

Hospital me NOW (2015)
Dance like EVERYONE'S watching

Post Transplant-1 Year (March 2014)

Post Transplant-1 Year (March 2014)
Mi Amor Studio

Pre Dialysis Pinup Shoot (2012)

Pre Dialysis Pinup Shoot (2012)
Dynamite Dames

Mid Dialysis Boudoir (March 2013)

Mid Dialysis Boudoir (March 2013)
100 pounds, and a week from transplant, chest tube tucked into bra like a lady. ;)

Non-Pinup Me Now (2015)

Non-Pinup Me Now (2015)
This girl has four kidneys

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pittsburgh and NEW BOUDOIR pics at last!

Lots of exciting things happening!

First of all, I traveled to Pittsburgh for an aHUS Meetup to speak as the Patient Advocate on Friday night.  It was the largest meeting I have gone to yet. There were enough adult patients that we could all sit in a room without families and just talk about our situation. It was my first time doing this and couldn't have been more successful.  These people could finally vent without their families and caretakers around. So much pent up emotion. But they are so strong.  Some of their struggles were completely overwhelming. I loved this part of the meeting.

I couldn't leave on Saturday because there wasn't a flight that left late enough to get me out and not miss the most important part of the meeting.  So on Saturday I had planned to hang out with the aHUS friends at the meeting.  But unfortunately many people left, and the others made other plans.:(

Not to worry, I crazily met some amazing people in the lobby having a birthday party for their friend.  They invited me to join them and of course, I said yes. One of my favorite things is meeting new people in a new city. There are so many opportunities all around us! If I had been too scared to walk over to this group of people, I would have had such a mediocre and lonely Saturday. But these friends were amazing, and are ones I plan on keeping if I can.

Overall, the trip was fantastic and inspiring. And my new life motto of accepting opportunities when they come has really changed my life for the better.  I live a more exciting and fulfilling life, and I meet so many amazing people along the way.

I have been doing quite a bit of modeling lately.  I haven't posted the pictures because many of them are still being edited. but this is my latest shoot that came with my application to be a Confidence Ambassador for Adoralee Photography in Norman, OK. It really sounds like it would be a dream come true for me if I got it, since all the duties described are things I already do, like convincing other women they are beautiful and building confidence in others.  Also, periodic photoshoots are part of the job, along with traveling to conferences (um..I am an expert at that now :)  )

So here is the unveiling of some of the pictures from my new shoot with Adoralee.  I hope you like them! This is my "experiencing a transplanted kidney rejection on steroids" shoot. If you look closely, you will notice there are bruises on me.  All of these pictures are completely unedited.  This is my body with NO photoshop or editing, just the way I like it. :)









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