Advice from My Best Friend

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by Ryan Berhar |

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Refined By Fire Ryan Berhar

Last in a series. Read parts one, two, and three.

To wrap up this series of conversations with people close to me, I interviewed my best friend, Sam DeVos. Sam is one of the most positive, optimistic people I’ve ever met, so I thought perhaps he’d provide some uplifting advice.

RB: If you could only give me one piece of advice about life, ignoring that I have SMA, what would you tell me?

SD: There are no dreams you can’t achieve. Believing in yourself and then dedicating yourself to your goals through hard work are the keys to overcoming life’s obstacles and achieving your dreams. Find your purpose and then strive to live out your purpose every day through integrity and intentionality.

Would you tell something different if you took SMA into consideration?

It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to or what your background is, my advice remains the same: The world is yours. Go get it.

To a person with SMA, I believe that your most powerful weapon is your voice and what you have to say. The pen is mightier than the sword, and your physical situation cannot hold back your powerful voice, a force that cannot be reckoned with. Use your voice to empower others that might be going through a similar situation or are fighting to find purpose in their lives.

What counsel would you give a family with a new diagnosis of SMA?

There is a treatment! Hold on and fight for your child to give them the cure. Hope is finally here. Keep on loving them unconditionally, because soon SMA won’t exist anymore.

What would you say is the most important thing someone with SMA can do to improve their physical health?

Hydration and nutritional health are definitely a major key because we all need water and healthy food to keep our bodies happy and healthy.

Staying away from any sick people is important as well.

If you could only give me one piece of advice for good mental health, ignoring SMA, what would you tell me?

Mental health comes from good relationships and keeping a loving, peaceful mind. Stressing about the future and money can lead to a variety of mental health problems, in my own experience. Focus on the good and on the positive aspects of your current situation.

Would you tell me something different if you took SMA into consideration?

Your spiritual life is definitely an extra important part of keeping your spirit and mental health in a state of peace and rest. Pray often, and give everything to God. Look for the beauty in life, be generous, and pursue your purpose. Those are some keys that will help anybody maintain a happy, healthy mental state.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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