ENERGY IN ACTION – EPISODE 040
Silver Linings with Sarah Kate
Sarah Kate Frey is a mitochondrial disease patient who is always looking on the bright side, seeking silver linings in the darkest experiences. She is the author of Alice Eloise’s Silver Linings: The Story of a Silly Service Dog and is in the process of writing a second book about her friend and service dog, a doodle named Alice Eloise.
How are you connected to the mito world?
Like a lot of patients, my path to a mitochondrial disease diagnosis was not a straight line. At about 12 years old, I came home from horseback riding camp really sick with a high fever and a staph infection in my throat that had me sick for months. I landed in the ER numerous times in a year for extreme dehydration and high inflammation markers. The following year in dance class, I sprained my ankle. Within the week, I received a Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) diagnosis. Not long after, I had extreme GI symptoms and saw a gastric motility doctor who did gastric emptying studies and further testing. I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis and then later with Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). What led to a mitochondrial disease diagnosis was tying everything together.
Can you tell us about Alice Eloise and how you came to author children’s books?
I love dogs and wondered how a service dog could help me. My sweet doodle, Alice Eloise, and I are a self-trained service dog team. She’s my silver lining through being sick, so silver linings has become a mission for me. I decided to write a book about a girl and her dog, about silver linings and looking on the bright side. When Alice Eloise came along and stole my heart, it was time to tell our story. And that’s what we’re doing. The first book is written through the puppy eyes of Alice Eloise and her perspective of becoming a service dog. The biggest lessons from the story are no matter what you’re going through, look for silver linings, never give up and seek the beauty in the world.
What will the second book be about?
It’s about a trip to the zoo with Alice Eloise, which started out as a scene in the first book. We ended the first book after her service dog test, so I decided to add to the story with another book. The premise of this book is about being someone else’s silver lining, and knowing that some of the best silver linings in life are the people around us and our interactions with one another.