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Hello, MastAttackers and Other Good People of the Internet,

A warning that I am about to be super sappy and emotional.

As MastAttack has grown into a sort of rare disease cultural touchstone, my life has become progressively more complex and more stressful. My role as a community resource affects every part of my life, and not always in a good way. In particular, the past year has been difficult for me, for a lot of reasons. There are days when I wake up and want to blow it all up and dye my hair brown and return to a life of anonymity.

But I never do and that’s exclusively because of you guys. It is my privilege to belong to this MastAttack community with all of you. On the hardest days, you really keep me going. You believe in me and that is so, so powerful.

Revealing the plan for MastAttack U to all of you has been cathartic. I am not a fan of secrets and keeping this a secret for so long really disconnected me from the community. On a more selfish level, I was also worried that you guys wouldn’t like it. The positive response to the announcement for next year’s courses has honestly been humbling and overwhelming. It has been my dream for a long time. I don’t have words to describe the feeling I get when I think about being able to teach this course to all of you.

MastAttack may be my idea and my project but it doesn’t really belong to me. It belongs to all of us in this community. It is not something that I am doing. It is something that we are doing. Together, we have an opportunity to develop hundreds of capable advocates for mast cell disease. We could change the way mast cell disease is treated and managed. We could directly impact our own care and the care of other patients by understanding our disease and how to teach others about it. The next generation of mast cell patients could be born into a world where there are hundreds of patients who have educated hundreds of physicians.

In order to achieve this, I have to believe that this will work, and I do. I believe in all of you the way that you believe in me. There will always be hard days and we will learn as we go along what works and what doesn’t. But we are a team. We can do this. I know we can.

So thanks for believing in me and in MastAttack and for being my people. It is pretty much the only thing holding me together sometimes. Sincerely.

I am leaving tomorrow evening to visit with some friends and take a much needed vacation through August 14. After 5pm tomorrow, I may pop in and out a bit online but will mostly be unavailable. I have set up some auto posts on the blog to continue the MastAttack 107.

Any and all questions/patient/meeting requests/masto related communication will be returned after August 14. In the event of an emergency, please contact one of the MastAttack admins for the Facebook group. They can get in touch with me.

Thanks for everything. Hope you guys all have a super week!