Essays

2017: Our Favorite Essays

A werewolf father, a prophet from outer space, and what Selena Gomez can teach us about lupus: these are just a few of our favorite essays of the year.

When illness or disability has touched your life, one of the hardest things you can do is talk openly about it. Yet many brave people do, and by telling their stories, they help break the stigma surrounding health conditions. In 2017, Folks was privileged to provide a platform for dozens of amazing people–including a globetrotting fashion photographer, an international bird watcher, and the work-at-home Dad of a diabetes icon–to tell stories about what illness and disability have taught them about living life to its fullest.

Beautiful Girl On A Distant Planet

In the ’70s, my best friend seemed like a prophet and a poetess from outer space. But she had schizophrenia, and as her symptoms worsened, I failed her.

The Weight: Caregiver Fatigue And Diabetes

When your kid’s life is on the line, caregiving is a 24-hour-a-day job. What do you do when that job wears you down?

My Blade Runner Eyes

Photographer Nadya Lev was the toast of the fashion world, but it was only when she started going blind that she really learned how to shoot.

How Charlie Brown Helped Save My Best Friend’s Life

A 1990 Peanuts special helped me get my friend to the doctor when she came down with a rare bone marrow disorder.

When Lupus Happens To You

In today’s celebrity culture, it’s all too common to compare yourself to the glitterati… but that cuts both ways when you have an autoimmune disease.
My Father The Werewolf

When I was a kid, my Dad taught me all about werewolves. Little did I know he was preparing me to understand his depression.

How Birdwatching Helps Save Me From Chronic Pain

‘Peace and patience’ are rare commodities when you live with pain… but a day spent birding is an extra day added to your life.

Doctors, Stop Gaslighting Women in Pain

For almost 4,000 years, doctors have been treating women in pain less seriously than men. That needs to stop. Now.

From Colorado With Love

After chemo, Rebecca Thomas thought she had met the perfect man. But cancer had profoundly changed what she needed from love.

Proof Of Life

I never thought I was photogenic. Then I started chemo, and learned to appreciate how precious photos of me and my family really were.