When I think back to that fateful day in 2008 when we first met I could never have imagined how important she would become to my life. Who knew that developing Bob would lead to anything good? And yet it did, and the fact that it was so unexpected makes it all the sweeter.
There we both were, in a small hospital gym, surrounded by a gaggle of grey-haired Franks and Merles. The only two patients in the room who didn't have first had knowledge of the Great Depression. We bonded over illness, over an upturned life, over a love of Johnny Depp, and being hit on by sleazy elderly Lotharios.
She knows only too well the world of doctors and sickness. She's faced it head on, and left me in awe of her determination and courage. And even during those times, she reached out to me, and to others. Her generous heart and giving spirit always in evidence.
She is an expert at taking my mind off being sick. It's often only after she leaves and my heart feels lighter and my cheeks hurt from laughing, that I realise what she's done. In many ways it's not even that she stops me from feeling like the sick person, instead the sickness becomes irrelevant and she reminds me that I'm still here.
I know I am lucky to have found a kindred spirit with a wicked sense of humour. Someone who understands what being ill, and the baggage that comes with it, means. Someone who simply gets it. But most of all, I know I am lucky because I found a true friend.
I don't know if there are any words to adequately describe what her friendship has meant to me over the last few years. I know I have struggled writing this post more than most. And I know these few barely touch the surface.
But I am proud to call her my friend, and even happier that she calls me hers.
Happy birthday Kerri.