Monday, April 28, 2014

Feeling Sorry For Yourself?

Next time you throw a pity party for yourself think about Tyler Liebegott, a twenty-one year old college student who was born with mitochondrial disease for which no cure exists.  I'm no doctor but from what I gather Tyler's illness robs him of energy typically derived from food and oxygen.  He has survived four strokes and has undergone 38 surgeries in his lifetime.  He lives with constant pain and has been on death's doorstep multiple times.

The life expectancy for mitochondrial sufferers is about 10 years, but most succumb much sooner. So why even bother to make something of yourself, right?  Wrong, at least as far as this young man is concerned.
Tyler spends his time away from his studies in biological sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg, PA, speaking to high school students about his condition and how it propels him to move forward despite its debilitating symptoms.  He mentors children afflicted with mitochondria as well.

One might be led to think that Tyler only lives for the moment.  You'd be wrong on that count, too.  This fellow dreams of being a doctor specializing in, you guessed it, the treatment of mitochondria. Tyler has no time for self-pity but instead sees everything in his life as opportunities to be cherished.

People like Tyler Liebegott give the rest of us mere humans pause for thought.  A headache, back pain, or a failing mark on a test send most spiraling into a deep funk.  Woe is me! I'm a good person so why is this happening?  Stop feeling sorry for yourself in such mundane matters. Nip it in the bud and find something positive to focus on.

When throwing a pity party for yourself, remember Tyler Liebegott, but don't be inclined to throw one for him either.  He can't be bothered with such self-indulgence because he's in the business of changing lives one person at a time.  He doesn't feel sorry for himself and he certainly isn't looking for your sympathy. He'd rather you learn more about mitochondrial disease and join him in the fight.

Tyler can be reached at

And for God's sake, stop feeling sorry for yourself!