Since I’d initially feared I might have cancer, these diagnoses were initially a great relief to me. But that relief would be short lived. Soon, I resembled someone from an internment camp: a 150-pound man standing over six feet tall with infected sores all over my legs. Because of my liver problems, my skin and the whites of my eyes were yellow from jaundice. I had zero energy: when my wife and young children needed me, I had nothing to give.

I gave up my dreams of starting my own business. I worked different jobs, struggling to keep my family afloat as I battled chronic illness. Finally, we had no choice but to admit defeat. We decided to move back to Canada, where we had friends and family to support us. I was depressed at first, but I soon came to realize it was the best decision I could have made: being chronically ill is something you simply can not do without a proper support network.

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