From a young age I learned about the fragile nature of the human experience. When I lost my mother at 17 it was a huge lesson for me that our lives are on borrowed time and there are no guarantees. A few years later, in my early twenties, I became ill with a chronic illness that impacted my life, goals, and dreams. Most kids in their late teens and early twenties still feel invincible, however, I felt acutely vulnerable and afraid. Doom seemed to be lurking just right around the corner.