I recently sat down with fellow Vasculitis Foundation Ambassador Brandon Hudgins to talk about life after the Vasculitis Symposium, and more importantly, to talk about his new book “Going the Distance” — now available for purchase on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback.
Ben: So, it’s been awhile since we hung out back in June at the Vasculitis Foundation’s 2017 Symposium in Chicago. At that time, you were working on an exciting project—a book about your journey with vasculitis.
Brandon: Yes, I finally finished my book! It’s been incredibly exciting and humbling to go through the process; I’m a little nervous about what people think of it since I put so much time and effort in, but more than anything I’m excited to have the book finally available.
Ben: I’m very curious about the final product and the whole process. What was it like for you to collect all your experiences battling through vasculitis and organize them in a book?
Brandon: It was a little overwhelming at first, but I sat down with [co-author] John Fries, and hashed out some of the main themes I wanted to cover in the book. Once we established a path, it was clear that we should focus on everything traumatic I’ve dealt with in life, whether it was getting diagnosed with vasculitis or losing loved ones.
I wanted to show how I’ve come out on the other side and that I’m still on my own two feet. In a roundabout way, it’s a self-help book, there are a lot of lessons I talk about and connect with through my own stories.
Ben: How is your health right now? I know you were suffering from a relapse earlier this year. Was it cathartic to write an inspirational and motivational book about past experiences you’ve had while fighting a new battle against vasculitis?
Brandon: The relapse actually made writing the book easier and going back over the challenges has given me even more motivation to fight back this time.
In 2016 I made the decision to put myself out there and in the limelight to raise awareness about the disease and to make a difference in our community. Even if I don’t feel well, I know I must keep sharing my story because this is the platform I’ve chosen and it’s the best way to inspire others.
Editor’s note: “Going the Distance: The Journey of a Vasculitis Patient on the Road to Olympic Glory” can be ordered through Amazon.com in Kindle format or paperback. Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 19, 2017) ISBN-10: 1975626583 or ISBN-13: 978-1975626587
Order Brandon’s book through AmazonSmiles and you will be helping to support the VF!