Scarlet Barksdale

“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” So says the extraordinarily upbeat Scarlet Barksdale, Texan, interior designer, blogger, IH Ambassador, wife and mom of two. Well of course she’s upbeat, you’re thinking, sounds like a lovely life. It is. Of course it is, but the last ten years have been anything but lovely with one health battle after another for the Barksdales.

First came Scarlet’s breast cancer battle.

The diagnosis left her “Petrified,” she says because “There are so many phony weird stories floating around.” Instead of getting caught up in these, she turned to deep reflection, strong faith, and support from family and friends as she made her way toward remission. “Resiliency comes from others helping you through things — you get by with a little help from your friends.”

Family health battle two came when at age nine, Scarlet’s daughter Chandler was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s is a chronic condition surrounded by a lot of misconceptions.

“It’s called the invisible disease because someone who has it doesn’t necessarily look sick, but they can be ripped up inside,” Scarlet explains. It’s an autoimmune condition that causes painful inflammation anywhere in the digestive tract. That part of it is set. Everything else about Crohn’s is very individual and very difficult to pinpoint each person’s triggers. Scarlet’s daughter has had part of her colon removed and now receives three-hour Remicade infusion therapies every six weeks to decrease inflammation and manage her Crohn’s.

While it can be isolating and the school week can wear her out, Chandler’s philosophy is that she doesn’t want it to limit her. Her mom says, “She’s a flippin’ badass warrior. She can’t do as much as some people, but she’s extraordinary.”

That’s more than enough to try any family, but there was one more on the horizon—her son Jackson’s Lymphoma. Once again, this mama leaned on her faith. “I said, God, if you’re going to give me a mountain to climb, you’re gonna need to give me a chairlift. He delivered.”

On the other side of this ten-year walk through hell, Scarlet feels an energy shift in her life and an incredible need to sow seeds and produce.

She is one of our earliest Ambassadors — just the sort of trailblazer I love and one of the unexpected benefits this business. I meet people I never would if I only made expected choices.

For others facing crises, including other families with a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, Scarlet advises, “You have to get up and choose happiness — never surrender, that’s your strength. Cussing helps too.”

December 1-7 is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week.