Kelly was a seventeen-year-old star of her high school basketball team . . . Gevon was a twelve-year-old who played linebacker for his middle school football team . . . Crystle was a nineteen-year-old college student with big plans for the future . . . One day you’re hanging out with friends at the mall, playing basketball at school, dreaming about your latest crush, and the next you’re in the hospital hooked up to tubes and wondering whether or not you’ll ever feel normal again. Getting sick was never part of the plan. Lupus. Diabetes. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Crohn’s. Multiple Sclerosis. No matter what the diagnosis, teens with chronic illnesses share one thing in common: their lives have been changed forever by illness. Seventeen young adults share their personal stories in I Still Dream Big. Their tenacity and spirit are an inspiration to us all. The voices of the teens profiled in this book are filled with hope and optimism despite the very real challenges they face. While some of their goals may have changed, these kids still have high hopes and big dreams for the future. Above all, they refuse to be defined by illness. Seventeen-year-old history buff, Jamie, sums it up with these words, “You define yourself, not something written in a medical chart”. When someone gets sick, family and friends are affected as well. The stories of these seventeen teens are important, not only for teens with chronic illness, but for the people who love them and want so much to understand the emotional and physical challenges their best friends and loved ones face. I Still Dream Big is a celebration of life and a reminder to all of us to hold onto our own dreams for the future-and to remember to DREAM BIG.