Learning how to handle health scares from those with chronic illness

 Kendall Ciesemier
Kendall Ciesemier (WCAX)
Published: Mar. 13, 2020 at 7:14 AM EDT
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Vermont's Disability Awareness Day was canceled over coronavirus concerns but health is always on the mind of those with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

Kendall Ciesemier hosts the health podcast "That That Don't Kill Me." The Illinois-native recently wrote an opinion piece for "The New York Times" titled "Afraid of Coronavirus? I Know What That Fear Is Like." Ciesemier has a rare liver disease that has required two transplants.

She says living in fear of illness is something she has dealt with her entire life. She says the general public can learn from people with chronic illnesses by being more aware of their own health, others' health and learn to take calculated risks.

"You can't let yourself become consumed mentally by this weight because we have to continue living our lives," said Ciesemier. "This should change your life. I think this is gonna change everyone's life for a period of time and making those kinds of concessions now is gonna help it prevent it from becoming a bigger deal."

She says people should be cognizant of everyone's health, including the elderly and those who immuno-compromised.

"A lot of people who are especially young and thriving individuals probably have never really thought about what it isn't like until now to really worry about your health," said Ciesemier. "I think they can learn that life is a fragile and but can learn to take calculated risks.

Ciesemier notes that its important for the elderly and immuno-compromised not to seen as disposable in the COVID-19 conversation just to quell the public panic.

"Everyone really needs to be cautious for everyone? It's not just sick people who need to take precautions," said Ciesemier. "It's really healthy people too and I think that that has not been as well addressed."