I recently made a personal Instagram where I follow YouTubers that I watch, and my family and friends. I also have an Instagram account for my blog and I follow other bloggers. I received a follower request on my personal account from an account called "The Lipkin Life". I clicked on their name and I noticed that they have a YouTube channel. I like finding new YouTube channels to watch so I checked out their channel. After viewing their first vlog where they introduced themselves and their 3 children, I instantly felt inspired by them. They are a very strong family in my eyes, including the children. Their family consists of the parents;Kyle and Dusti; and their children, Blake, Ethan and Olivia. In their family they are battling Arnold Chiari Malformation Type 1, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3, Craniocervical Instability, Narcolepsy, Thyroid Cancer, Hypermobility and also a few other things.
Something in me felt the need to get in contact with them and ask if they would be willing to do an interview that I could post on here. I definitely felt that they deserve more subscribers. Even though we don't even know one another I was touched and greatly inspired by them, and I know my readers would be as well. I was honored when they sent me a message back saying yes, I could interview them and to email them my questions. Here are Kyle's responses to my questions:
Q: How do your family stay so positive?
A: It is a real challenge and mental game but to be 100% honest, we are not always positive (anyone who says they are is lying), in fact, we struggle daily with really trying to keep ourselves moving forward. YouTube up to this point has only really seen the "Highlights" and some drama from our family. We still don't record and publicize the intimate moments where we are completely broken down and sobbing over our children. There are nights where we can't sleep and just hope to God that our kids somehow can make it out of this. We battle constantly with doctors offices, family, and almost every aspect of life just to try and get people to believe we have anything wrong with us and our kids. Invisible illnesses are really terrible because on the outside you look great but on the inside, you feel like you are dying more every day. Every morning Dusti wakes up in such extreme pain that she cannot even function until she has medicine and coffee. To be honest, one of the ways to get through something like this is to take it head on and say "it is what it is" and you just fight.
Q:.Why did you decide on starting a YouTube channel?
A: Our family used to belong to a very strict, legalistic church that allowed no video, movies, make-up or anything to do with "hollywood", which included YouTube. We recently left that church about 1.5 years ago. Dusti had always wanted to start a family vlog so it was her idea. We have only been on youtube for about 3-4 weeks. The main goal of our YouTube channel was and is 3 things.
- Promote awareness for rare illnesses such as Arnold Chiari Malformation, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type 3, Narcolepsy, Craniocervical Instability and Thyroid Cancer. The first 2 illnesses listed here are the main focus
- Provide a place where people with similar illnesses or struggles can come to see that although you may have to battle certain things, that you can always make it through. Life is full of up's and down's
- Give a glimpse into the craziness that we struggle with as we battle against rare and chronic illnesses. We want our story to be heard.
Q: What do you like to do as a family?
A:As a family, we love just spending time together. In my opinion, some of the best times we have had together are at the dinner table (we always try to make it a point to eat together). We love to swim together and watch movies. Having certain illnesses does put boundaries on what you can "do", but we always just try to find things that we can do as a family.
Q:.What do you want your subscribers to take from your channel?
A: I personally want subscribers to feel a connection with us emotionally. I want them to feel like they can get something from our experiences. I want them to be aware of Chiari Malformation. I want them to have courage and strength to not just take what Dr's tell you as a final answer. I want subscribers to truly get something out of TheLipkinLife so that when they stop watching they feel inspired and that they can really make it through whatever it is they are facing.
Q:.Do you have any favorite YouTubers?
A:I have so many YouTubers that I like. Ones that I have really been following around Chiari/EDS are as follows:
- Alyssa All Day
- Christina Doherty
Q:What advice would you give to someone if they were going through the same medical diagnosis as your family?
A:I can only speak to the "healthy/support" person. I know that for myself there are times when it really can press down hard. What I am about to say only comes from experience and failures. As a father/husband, I would say that communication has to be the most important thing when trying to deal with a chronically ill spouse or child. Understanding your partner and the signs of when they just need a break are also helpful. Although I really do not do this myself, you really should have an outlet for frustration and make time for yourself. I use vlogging and video editing as an outlet right now. Having someone like a pastor or best friend to talk to always helps as well. Ask for help, reach out to family and support groups. Build knowledge in your partners/children's condition. Knowledge is power. Join support groups on facebook where you can connect with other people.
Q:What is your favorite quote?
A: I am a huge quote person. Here are my top 5 favorites
- “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” Lao Tzu
- “If you don't like where you are, change it. You're not a tree.” Jim Rohn
- “When you judge others, you do not define them; you define yourself.”Earl Nightingale
- "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
- “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Suzy Kaseem
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win" - Mahatma Gandhi
If you want to check out their channel, click here. Their social media sites are:
Thank you Kyle for letting me interview your family and for inspiring me to be a better and stronger person each day!