HALEY JAMES

HI! HELLO! WELCOME! I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE!

I'M HALEY JAMES!

I’m a purpose-driven, multi-passionate entrepreneur, chronic illness and rare disease advocate, public speaker, podcaster, interior designer, YouTuber, content creator, and, most importantly, a woman on a mission to love and support others by inspiring, empowering, and equipping them to overcome their obstacles, pursue their passions, step into their purpose, and create a life they truly love so they can use their stories and gifts to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

But that’s not the complete picture of who I am. That’s just what I do.

Now don’t get me wrong; that’s a significant part of my identity, but it’s just the surface. It’s the end result, and there’s so much more to it. Now – if you came here to learn about what I do, then there you have it – but if you came here to understand not only what I do but also why I do it, then keep reading. The complete picture of who I truly am is far from straightforward or neatly put together. The real me is the girl who courageously navigated her way through tears, setbacks, hardships, diagnoses, isolation, self-doubt, the feeling of being left behind, and all the challenges she encountered. Despite the fear, she took the risk to step into her calling. THAT girl – that’s me, and she’s the one I want you to get to know.

It’s the heart of that girl that created this site and everything on it because she knew that it was not just her story, but all of ours. Though they may look different, we all have hardships and setbacks and things that get in the way of our dreams, and no matter who you are or what your struggle is – I know you have felt those feelings that I have felt at some point in your life, maybe even right now. That’s why I share and why I am here; I believe our stories and our experiences hold power, and when we are brave enough to share them and put them out in the world – they will find their way to the people who need them most.

Come get to know me!

I’m newly 30 and live in the sunny and adventure-filled San Francisco Bay Area.

I’m a hugger! It doesn’t matter if we’re new friends, old friends, family, or complete strangers – hugging is my jam and how I like to show and spread the love! So, even though I’m not with you now, no matter which category you fall into, consider this your virtual hug from me to you!
Dresses, heels, booties, tights, and skirts – regardless of the season, time of day, or weather, that’s my go-to style. Okay, maybe a cute sweatsuit or joggers occasionally, but most of the time, you’ll spot me in those!
I learned at a young age that I had trouble keeping my mouth shut when I felt like something wasn’t right. Despite being a rule-following, goody-two-shoes, I would find myself in the principal’s office for defending the rights of other students to my teachers more than I would like to admit. I’ve since grown and learned much better ways to engage in advocacy, and I hope to share what I am doing on the local, state, and federal levels so you can get involved (if you want) too!
And, as you will continue to hear about, I live with some medical conditions, which means my life looks a little different than other people my age. While that has come with a lot of tears, therapy, grieving, and sadness, I have learned to not only be okay with that but to celebrate the unique path it has allowed me to intentionally create and walk. I found ways to take the problems I had and use my passions to help others avoid, get through, move beyond, and use what they learned for good!

Come get to know me!

I’m newly 30 and live in the sunny and adventure-filled San Francisco Bay Area.

I’m a hugger! It doesn’t matter if we’re new friends, old friends, family, or complete strangers – hugging is my jam and how I like to show and spread the love! So, even though I’m not with you now, no matter which category you fall into, consider this your virtual hug from me to you!
Dresses, heels, booties, tights, and skirts – regardless of the season, time of day, or weather, that’s my go-to style. Okay, maybe a cute sweatsuit or joggers occasionally, but most of the time, you’ll spot me in those!
I learned at a young age that I had trouble keeping my mouth shut when I felt like something wasn’t right. Despite being a rule-following, goody-two-shoes, I would find myself in the principal’s office for defending the rights of other students to my teachers more than I would like to admit. I’ve since grown and learned much better ways to engage in advocacy, and I hope to share what I am doing on the local, state, and federal levels so you can get involved (if you want) too!
And, as you will continue to hear about, I live with some medical conditions, which means my life looks a little different than other people my age. While that has come with a lot of tears, therapy, grieving, and sadness, I have learned to not only be okay with that but to celebrate the unique path it has allowed me to intentionally create and walk. I found ways to take the problems I had and use my passions to help others avoid, get through, move beyond, and use what they learned for good!
What’s your favorite season or time of year, and why do you love it?

I’d have to say it’s between spring & fall, but if I haveee to pick one I’d say fall! There’s something about the warm tea, coziness & togetherness that I just love!

What’s something you do that helps support your mental health?

One of my favorite things to do is go on a long solo early morning run in an area with pretty flowers and stop to take pictures of them as I go.

What’s something you’ve wanted to do, but haven’t done yet?

I’d love to go live in a little, cute, and cozy flat in London! I really loved it there and could totally see myself spending some time living there!

What’s something you worry about and how do you cope with it?

My health worries me. Going through what I have and living with c-PTSD is hard, so I try to cope with it through therapy and trying to stay present.

What’s your favorite season or time of year, and why do you love it?

I’d have to say it’s between spring & fall, but if I haveee to pick one I’d say fall! There’s something about the warm tea, coziness & togetherness that I just love!

What’s something you do that helps support your mental health?

One of my favorite things to do is go on a long solo early morning run in an area with pretty flowers and stop to take pictures of them as I go.

What’s something you’ve wanted to do, but haven’t done yet?

I’d love to go live in a little, cute, and cozy flat in London! I really loved it there and could totally see myself spending some time living there!

What’s something you worry about and how do you cope with it?

My health worries me. Going through what I have and living with c-PTSD is hard, so I try to cope with it through therapy and trying to stay present.

What’s your favorite song or artist and why that song/artist?

Is this even a question when all the versions of All Too Well (10 Min Version) (TV) (FTV) & Taylor Swift’s entire discography exist in the world?!

What’s something you were insecure about, but were able to overcome?

I grew up insecure about my raspy voice, which was hard because I love to talk! But I’ve really learned to love it & what using it allows me to do!

What’s one of your favorite childhood memories and why?

Oh gosh – going to all of the Harry Potter book release bookstore parties & midnight movie releases with my dad is for sure a favorite!

What’s something you’re working on right now to help yourself grow?

I’m working on learning how not to have an all-or-nothing mindset and how to get comfortable and content in the beauty of the in-between.

What’s your favorite song or artist and why that song/artist?

Is this even a question when all the versions of All Too Well (10 Min Version) (TV) (FTV) & Taylor Swift’s entire discography exist in the world?!

What’s something you were insecure about, but were able to overcome?

I grew up insecure about my raspy voice, which was hard because I love to talk! But I’ve really learned to love it & what using it allows me to do!

What’s one of your favorite childhood memories and why?

Oh gosh – going to all of the Harry Potter book release bookstore parties & midnight movie releases with my dad is for sure a favorite!

What’s something you’re working on right now to help yourself grow?

I’m working on learning how not to have an all-or-nothing mindset and how to get comfortable and content in the beauty of the in-between.

Favorite Way To Hang

Sitting in a flower garden with my friends – yup, that’s IT for me. Being with my girls & talking about life while sitting in a garden – it’s my favorite little place to be!

Favorite Texts To Get

I love, love, love getting voice memos from my people. When I see their name pop up with a 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 min memo attached to it – instant happiness boost!

Favorite furry friend

Between walkies & watching “Bluey” (yes, we’re on season 3) & cuddles & love – Brodie is my guy – he’s everything to me. I really couldn’t love him more!

Favorite Way To Hang

Sitting in a flower garden with my friends – yup, that’s IT for me. Being with my girls & talking about life while sitting in a garden – it’s my favorite little place to be!

Favorite Texts To Get

I love, love, love getting voice memos from my people. When I see their name pop up with a 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 min memo attached to it – instant happiness boost!

Favorite furry friend

Between walkies & watching “Bluey” (yes, we’re on season 3) & cuddles & love – Brodie is my guy – he’s everything to me. I really couldn’t love him more!

Okay - enough small talk
Let's get into why I'm really here

If you’re ready, keep reading for my story below. And if, after you find you want to hear more about my story directly from me sharing it aloud, here are 3 podcast episodes—the first pre-episode of each of my 3 podcasts—all telling the same story but in different ways and from different perspectives. Okay, that’s all – let’s get into it.

Okay - enough small talk
Let's get into why I'm really here

If you’re ready, keep reading for my story below. And if, after you find you want to hear more about my story directly from me sharing it aloud, here are 3 podcast episodes—the first pre-episode of each of my 3 podcasts—all telling the same story but in different ways and from different perspectives. Okay, that’s all – let’s get into it.

It all starts with my story

I was born & raised in the Bay Area in CA where I lived with my 2 amazing parents, 2 younger sisters, my younger brother & our sweet little pupper!

Growing up, I loved decorating and designing my room – as a by-product of a couple of years of actual O.C.D. (you can hear about that on the H&H podcast) – and knew very early on, at 9 years old, that I wanted to be an interior designer. 

The years between setting my heart on that and actually going to design school were filled with friends, lots of time at cheer practice, dating, and all the average things you do as a teen. 

When it came time to apply to college, I looked at art and design schools and, based on certified programs and what I was looking for, ended up at San Jose State University. 

Now, interior design school sounds like a fun time, and it can be – but also, it’s not what you would think. It’s interior architecture – with floor plans, renderings, AutoCAD, etc. I knew that going into it, but didn’t realize until my senior year that as a career, it was not going to fulfill me.

I realized that what was missing was that, when I was young, I fell in love with interior design because I saw how I could do something I loved AND, at the same time, help people who really needed it. But when I got to the end of my studies, I realized that making rooms pretty for people who simply wanted their space to look nice didn’t feel as meaningful as I had imagined when I was that little girl binge-watching HGTV’s Extreme Home Makeover.

This had me almost changing my major at the beginning of my senior year. But after really talking and thinking it out, I was reminded by my parents that I could choose what I would do with the degree, and if I wanted to find a way to help people with it, I could – even if that path didn’t exist yet.

So I let myself begin to dream and come up with ways that I could do that, and I began to get my passion back! I got excited and wrote out a whole 5-year plan for how I would get to where I wanted to be and do what I wanted to do. I just had to get through the year to graduation, and I’d be able to start on my path to what I felt was my purpose.

It all starts with my story

I was born & raised in the Bay Area in CA where I lived with my 2 amazing parents, 2 younger sisters, my younger brother & our sweet little pupper!

Growing up, I loved decorating and designing my room – as a by-product of a couple of years of actual O.C.D. (you can hear about that on the H&H podcast) – and knew very early on, at 9 years old, that I wanted to be an interior designer. 

The years between setting my heart on that and actually going to design school were filled with friends, lots of time at cheer practice, dating, and all the average things you do as a teen. 

When it came time to apply to college, I looked at art and design schools and, based on certified programs and what I was looking for, ended up at San Jose State University. 

Now, interior design school sounds like a fun time, and it can be – but also, it’s not what you would think. It’s interior architecture – with floor plans, renderings, AutoCAD, etc. I knew that going into it, but didn’t realize until my senior year that as a career, it was not going to fulfill me.

I realized that what was missing was that, when I was young, I fell in love with interior design because I saw how I could do something I loved AND, at the same time, help people who really needed it. But when I got to the end of my studies, I realized that making rooms pretty for people who simply wanted their space to look nice didn’t feel as meaningful as I had imagined when I was that little girl binge-watching HGTV’s Extreme Home Makeover.

This had me almost changing my major at the beginning of my senior year. But after really talking and thinking it out, I was reminded by my parents that I could choose what I would do with the degree, and if I wanted to find a way to help people with it, I could – even if that path didn’t exist yet.

So I let myself begin to dream and come up with ways that I could do that, and I began to get my passion back! I got excited and wrote out a whole 5-year plan for how I would get to where I wanted to be and do what I wanted to do. I just had to get through the year to graduation, and I’d be able to start on my path to what I felt was my purpose.

but life had other plans

As most of you probably know all too well, things sometimes (almost always) don’t go exactly (or in this case – not at all) according to plan, and there tend to be circumstances and situations that happen that you hadn’t anticipated. Getting sick for the last 9 years was that for me. 

No one thinks or takes into account the possibility of becoming sick, especially when you are only 21 years old and the world seems like it is just beginning to open up for you. But that is exactly what happened.

It was Fall 2015, my senior year of college, living with my best friends, about to finish my interior design degree, and move on to my 5-year plan that I had prepped and hanging on my wall – everything was great! Until I started feeling sick whenever I ate. 

It wasn’t too bad at first, but as time went on, my symptoms became more and more prominent until finally, I could no longer excuse them away. After seeing a gastroenterologist and undergoing invasive testing, I was told there was nothing wrong. It was “just in my head.” As much as I wanted to believe that, I knew it definitely wasn’t. What I didn’t know was that this was just the beginning of a long chronic illness journey. 

For the five years that followed, I was told everything from, “It’s anxiety”, “for attention”, “eating disorder” (I was even wrongfully put in an eating disorder clinic for a year, but that is a trauma for another time) to “psycho-symptomatic” – the list goes on and on. I was a full-time undiagnosed patient, and investigating my health became my unpaid, unwanted, unplanned-for, full-time job that I couldn’t leave or get a break from.

but life had other plans

As most of you probably know all too well, things sometimes (almost always) don’t go exactly (or in this case – not at all) according to plan, and there tend to be circumstances and situations that happen that you hadn’t anticipated. Getting sick for the last 9 years was that for me. 

No one thinks or takes into account the possibility of becoming sick, especially when you are only 21 years old and the world seems like it is just beginning to open up for you. But that is exactly what happened.

It was Fall 2015, my senior year of college, living with my best friends, about to finish my interior design degree, and move on to my 5-year plan that I had prepped and hanging on my wall – everything was great! Until I started feeling sick whenever I ate. 

It wasn’t too bad at first, but as time went on, my symptoms became more and more prominent until finally, I could no longer excuse them away. After seeing a gastroenterologist and undergoing invasive testing, I was told there was nothing wrong. It was “just in my head.” As much as I wanted to believe that, I knew it definitely wasn’t. What I didn’t know was that this was just the beginning of a long chronic illness journey. 

For the five years that followed, I was told everything from, “It’s anxiety”, “for attention”, “eating disorder” (I was even wrongfully put in an eating disorder clinic for a year, but that is a trauma for another time) to “psycho-symptomatic” – the list goes on and on. I was a full-time undiagnosed patient, and investigating my health became my unpaid, unwanted, unplanned-for, full-time job that I couldn’t leave or get a break from.

I spent almost all of my time researching, trying to understand and figure out what was going on when it was clear the doctors weren’t going to be able to. I taught myself how to interpret labs, read X-rays & brain scans, and connected with researchers in the U.S. and other countries until finally, going into my fifth year of being undiagnosed, I gave it one last shot. I researched a bunch and asked for what I declared would be my final test. Mentally, physically & emotionally – I was beyond exhausted. I didn’t know where else to turn. I said to myself, and to my parents, if this isn’t it, then I’m done. 

This one test ended up not only being positive for 1 rare disease, but 3.

We found that I had gastroparesis (also known as a paralyzed stomach – yeah, I know right?! who knew that was a thing?) along with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction disorder and intestinal dysmotility (both are conditions that refer to paralysis of the intestines).

A few weeks after being diagnosed, I began choking on food and we found that my esophagus had also become paralyzed. This meant that whatever I had going on — whatever it was — it was spreading and spreading fast.

It was at this time in 2019, when I was so sick and frail, weighing in at only 94lbs, unable to take in any regular food and very little water, that I genuinely thought I might die. It was then very clear that I had to do the thing I never imagined I would have to do: get my first feeding tube in order to survive.

A week later, I was seeing top specialists who, upon reviewing past tests, found that I had significant heavy metal poisoning during the time I was living in my dorm in college, where we think I was exposed. We have come to believe that to be a primary trigger for how this may have all started. They also tested and diagnosed me with multiple autonomic disorders, a type of condition known as dysautonomia (an umbrella term for a group of conditions that means your autonomic nervous system – aka the system that controls all your automatic body functions – doesn’t work properly), along with one rare neuro condition they couldn’t figure out but urgently expressed needed steroids or chemo – stat – like “yesterday”. It felt like it was a race against the clock – except there was no actual idea of how much time we had – or if any – to really figure it out.

Terrified. Overwhelmed. Scared. Sad. Hopeless. All would be considered an understatement.

I spent almost all of my time researching, trying to understand and figure out what was going on when it was clear the doctors weren’t going to be able to. I taught myself how to interpret labs, read X-rays & brain scans, and connected with researchers in the U.S. and other countries until finally, going into my fifth year of being undiagnosed, I gave it one last shot. I researched a bunch and asked for what I declared would be my final test. Mentally, physically & emotionally – I was beyond exhausted. I didn’t know where else to turn. I said to myself, and to my parents, if this isn’t it, then I’m done. 

This one test ended up not only being positive for 1 rare disease, but 3.

We found that I had gastroparesis (also known as a paralyzed stomach – yeah, I know right?! who knew that was a thing?) along with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction disorder and intestinal dysmotility (both are conditions that refer to paralysis of the intestines).

A few weeks after being diagnosed, I began choking on food and we found that my esophagus had also become paralyzed. This meant that whatever I had going on — whatever it was — it was spreading and spreading fast.

It was at this time in 2019, when I was so sick and frail, weighing in at only 94lbs, unable to take in any regular food and very little water, that I genuinely thought I might die. It was then very clear that I had to do the thing I never imagined I would have to do: get my first feeding tube in order to survive.

A week later, I was seeing top specialists who, upon reviewing past tests, found that I had significant heavy metal poisoning during the time I was living in my dorm in college, where we think I was exposed. We have come to believe that to be a primary trigger for how this may have all started. They also tested and diagnosed me with multiple autonomic disorders, a type of condition known as dysautonomia (an umbrella term for a group of conditions that means your autonomic nervous system – aka the system that controls all your automatic body functions – doesn’t work properly), along with one rare neuro condition they couldn’t figure out but urgently expressed needed steroids or chemo – stat – like “yesterday”. It felt like it was a race against the clock – except there was no actual idea of how much time we had – or if any – to really figure it out.

Terrified. Overwhelmed. Scared. Sad. Hopeless. All would be considered an understatement.

I went out to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for a second opinion. After 3 weeks there, I left with what has become my primary diagnosis – Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy – a long hard-to-say name for a really rare type of dysautonomia. It basically means I have an autoimmune disease attacking my autonomic nervous system and causing it to not work properly.

I came home and was given a more permanent surgical feeding tube. I also began high-dose infusion treatments of I.V.I.G. (20,000 people’s plasma donations) every week.

It’s been almost 4 years since I got my tube and over 3 years (over 175 infusions) of IVIG and (over 245 infusions) of saline and way too many trials of experimental medications and treatments to count. While those management treatments, along with experimental medications, have helped, due to the complexity and length of time I went without a diagnosis or treatment, many more diagnoses and conditions have come along with them. It’s been years now of learning to cope, manage, and work to heal the conditions I have, all while tackling new health obstacles as they arise—and believe me, they do.

But diagnoses and answers have finally led to management and care options like my feeding tube, saline infusions, experimental medications, and weekly IVIG plasma infusions. These, combined with the natural and root cause support I receive from my functional practitioners have put me in a much more stable place than I was – and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

There is currently no cure for my primary condition (or the majority of the rare ones that stem from it), BUT there are management treatment options that, in some people, can get them back to their baseline and can even put them into remission to a point where they no longer need any treatment. Thanks to these treatments, my body has dramatically improved from where it was. My GI system has even started to show the tiniest bit of movement again, and my heart and blood pressure are gradually normalizing.

Basically, I went from barely being able to walk to running a half-marathon every day for months. And not only was I able to get my labs back into better ranges, but even more optimal ones.

So, I absolutely believe I can get better (which is the first step). While some days have setbacks and that hope can be hard to cling to, it is there, and I am incredibly grateful for that. In the meantime, through advocacy for funding & research as well as advocacy for the approval & access to management options, I hope to not only get help for myself, but also for all others grappling with chronic or rare conditions.

I went out to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for a second opinion. After 3 weeks there, I left with what has become my primary diagnosis – Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy – a long hard-to-say name for a really rare type of dysautonomia. It basically means I have an autoimmune disease attacking my autonomic nervous system and causing it to not work properly.

I came home and was given a more permanent surgical feeding tube. I also began high-dose infusion treatments of I.V.I.G. (20,000 people’s plasma donations) every week.

It’s been almost 4 years since I got my tube and over 3 years (over 175 infusions) of IVIG and (over 245 infusions) of saline and way too many trials of experimental medications and treatments to count. While those management treatments, along with experimental medications, have helped, due to the complexity and length of time I went without a diagnosis or treatment, many more diagnoses and conditions have come along with them. It’s been years now of learning to cope, manage, and work to heal the conditions I have, all while tackling new health obstacles as they arise—and believe me, they do.

But diagnoses and answers have finally led to management and care options like my feeding tube, saline infusions, experimental medications, and weekly IVIG plasma infusions. These, combined with the natural and root cause support I receive from my functional practitioners have put me in a much more stable place than I was – and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

There is currently no cure for my primary condition (or the majority of the rare ones that stem from it), BUT there are management treatment options that, in some people, can get them back to their baseline and can even put them into remission to a point where they no longer need any treatment. Thanks to these treatments, my body has dramatically improved from where it was. My GI system has even started to show the tiniest bit of movement again, and my heart and blood pressure are gradually normalizing.

Basically, I went from barely being able to walk to running a half-marathon every day for months. And not only was I able to get my labs back into better ranges, but even more optimal ones.

So, I absolutely believe I can get better (which is the first step). While some days have setbacks and that hope can be hard to cling to, it is there, and I am incredibly grateful for that. In the meantime, through advocacy for funding & research as well as advocacy for the approval & access to management options, I hope to not only get help for myself, but also for all others grappling with chronic or rare conditions.

I am a firm believer that you are more SO. MUCH. MORE. than your diagnoses and a lot of this page is me sharing those other parts of me. With that being said though, they are still part of my own journey and I know that it not only helps you know more about me but also helps to spread awareness and maybe even help you on your journey so here is a very brief description of some of my main conditions that I have been diagnosed with, that I advocate for and that I often share about.

The one where my body’s immune system mistakenly attacks certain parts of my autonomic nervous system, basically causing my automatic body functions to not work properly. 

The one where my blood doesn’t circulate correctly, leading to various autonomic symptoms. Primarily, my heart rate becomes extremely high upon standing and sometimes extremely low while sitting. This can result in pre-syncope and syncope (fainting), dizziness, blurry vision, chest pain, and more.

The one where the small fibers of my autonomic system are damaged. This causes the autonomic nervous system to be unstable, which can lead to temperature dysregulation, GI motility issues, heartrate dysregulation, etc. 

The one where blood vessels or nerves in the space between the collarbone and the first rib are compressed. This can cause pain in the shoulders and neck, numbness in the fingers, and even lead to me losing my pulse when barely lifting my arms.

The one where it’s type 1 diabetes, but not exactly the same in that you don’t need insulin right away and often comes on as an adult.

The one where my stomach is mostly paralyzed. This means food stays in the stomach much longer than it should, causing symptoms such as early satiety, bloating, stomach aches, headaches and many other symptoms.

The one where my blood sugar frequently drops to dangerously low levels, but I don’t experience any symptoms.

The one where heavy metals found in our everyday environment and products accumulated in toxic amounts in my body, leading to heavy metal toxicity issues.

The one where blood doesn’t flow correctly and is sometimes blocked, causing my hands and feet to turn white/blue/red according to weather, emotions or for no apparent reason.

The one where my duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) is compressed between two arteries. This compression causes partial or complete blockage of the small intestine, leading to pain and worsening my motility issues.

The one where I got bit by a tick that carried rickettsia typhi.

The one where my intestines react and feel as if there is a true mechanical obstruction or intestinal blockage. However, when tests are performed, no physical evidence of a blockage is found, but the intestines are still distended as if there is.

The one where my small intestine is mostly paralyzed. This can cause the food to not move through the intestine, leading to a plethora of GI and other issues.

The one where my esophagus is mostly paralyzed. This makes it difficult to swallow and can feel as though I am choking (even on water sometimes).

The one where I can’t have gluten (not even a crumb!) and if I am exposed to gluten, it damages the villi in my small intestine and causes me to get extremely sick.

The one where I became sick from being exposed to mold spores and mold biotoxins in the outside air.

The one where I got bit by a tick that carried borrelia burgdorferi (lyme).

The one where I really struggle with my mental health right before my period.

The one where my immune system attacks my thyroid. This can cause various symptoms with the thyroid and its function.

The one where the muscles around my larynx don’t work right, so it makes my voice hoarse and causes it to give out.

The one where I developed Medical Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), triggered by medical and personal illness-related experiences.

The one where the thyroid doesn’t create and release enough thyroid hormone into my bloodstream. For me, this is caused by my autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s causing thyroid damage. Since the thyroid hormone is needed for every cell in your body this can cause a plethora of issues when it is out of range and is commonly treated with medication or in some cases supplementation.

The one where mast cells become overly activated, releasing too many chemicals like histamine into my bloodstream. This condition can result from various triggers and lead to a wide range of symptoms and reactions, often linked to my autoimmune diseases and other health issues.

The one where I got hit in the head a bunch during cheerleading in high school and turns out it wasn’t just a bruise, but actually a traumatic brain injury.

Where Are things now?

So, like I said, I’m still dependent on my feeding tube, still receiving weekly plasma infusions, still taking experimental meds, and still working on healing. But I am stronger and more stable, and I have begun to create the life that I had dreamed of.

I wouldn’t be here, though, if I hadn’t gone through all of what I did. By ‘here,’ I mean in a place where I felt brave enough to share hard things openly. This ‘here’ includes feeling comfortable intentionally recording my raspy voice for podcasts and videos—something I’ve always been insecure about. It also means hitting that record button and opening up about my experiences, being real and vulnerable on camera. Why? Because I promised myself I would.

When I was at my sickest and saw no way out, I had to make a choice for myself. I could stay and fight and give it my all to survive – or not. I know that’s deep and morbid, but it’s true.

When I decided I wanted to stay and that I wanted to fight, I also decided that if I was going to do that – and by some miracle survive it all – I wasn’t going to work that hard to make it through just to come back to a life where I was miserable. So I made a promise to myself: if I worked to heal, I would be equally committed to creating a life I truly loved every little bit of, and I wouldn’t shy away from stepping into my purpose, no matter how scary, confusing, intimidating, or overwhelming that process might be. 

As I began to keep both those commitments, I was able to make peace with my past and graduate with my master’s in interior design with a focus on how our interior environments impact our health. I also placed emphasis on building meaningful and intentional relationships with others, and I pursued my passions by creating three businesses, three podcasts and two YouTube channels where I am able to share my story, experiences, life and things I love in a way that I hope will help others. In addition, I became a public speaker and advocate, which has allowed me to talk about topics I care deeply about. Most of all, I have been able to learn to love and stay true to myself, embracing even the parts that once caused me anger and shame.  

And while that is all great, it never has been, still isn’t, and will absolutely never be about me at all. 

It’s been about using any passions, talents and experiences to serve others. That is where I’ve found I have been able to begin to create a life I truly love, and I think that is where you can begin too. 

And I want to help! 

Where Are things now?

So, like I said, I’m still dependent on my feeding tube, still receiving weekly plasma infusions, still taking experimental meds, and still working on healing. But I am stronger and more stable, and I have begun to create the life that I had dreamed of.

I wouldn’t be here, though, if I hadn’t gone through all of what I did. By ‘here,’ I mean in a place where I felt brave enough to share hard things openly. This ‘here’ includes feeling comfortable intentionally recording my raspy voice for podcasts and videos—something I’ve always been insecure about. It also means hitting that record button and opening up about my experiences, being real and vulnerable on camera. Why? Because I promised myself I would.

When I was at my sickest and saw no way out, I had to make a choice for myself. I could stay and fight and give it my all to survive – or not. I know that’s deep and morbid, but it’s true.

When I decided I wanted to stay and that I wanted to fight, I also decided that if I was going to do that – and by some miracle survive it all – I wasn’t going to work that hard to make it through just to come back to a life where I was miserable. So I made a promise to myself: if I worked to heal, I would be equally committed to creating a life I truly loved every little bit of, and I wouldn’t shy away from stepping into my purpose, no matter how scary, confusing, intimidating, or overwhelming that process might be. 

As I began to keep both those commitments, I was able to make peace with my past and graduate with my master’s in interior design with a focus on how our interior environments impact our health. I also placed emphasis on building meaningful and intentional relationships with others, and I pursued my passions by creating three businesses, three podcasts and two YouTube channels where I am able to share my story, experiences, life and things I love in a way that I hope will help others. In addition, I became a public speaker and advocate, which has allowed me to talk about topics I care deeply about. Most of all, I have been able to learn to love and stay true to myself, embracing even the parts that once caused me anger and shame.  

And while that is all great, it never has been, still isn’t, and will absolutely never be about me at all. 

It’s been about using any passions, talents and experiences to serve others. That is where I’ve found I have been able to begin to create a life I truly love, and I think that is where you can begin too. 

And I want to help! 

I'm on a mission to inspire, empower & equip you to overcome your obstacles, pursue your passions, step into your purpose and create a life you truly love so you can use your stories and gifts to make a positive impact in the lives of others!

The Chronic Collective

It's Haley James Media

Here Are A Few Of The Things I do
Around Here to live that out!

Health & Home

It's Haley James Media

Here Are A Few Of The Things I do
Around Here to live that out!

Share My Story

Here on this site and on my platforms, one of the main things I do is share my story and all the little stories that make it up. The best place to hear more is on the gram @itshaleyjames_ – see you there!

Record Podcasts

I’m all about connecting with people and hearing their stories. In fact, I’ve got 3 totally fun & totally different podcasts doing just that! Be sure to check them out – Dys here, H& H here & PFP here.

Speak & Teach

From panels and conferences to seminars and classes – if there is talking involved, I’m always down! If you are interested in attending or collaborating on an event together, check out my public speaking page here.

Share My Story

Here on this site and on my platforms, one of the main things I do is share my story and all the little stories that make it up. The best place to hear more is on the gram @itshaleyjames_ – see you there!

Record Podcasts

I’m all about connecting with people and hearing their stories. In fact, I’ve got 3 totally fun & totally different podcasts doing just that! Be sure to check them out – Dys here, H& H here & PFP here.

Film YouTube Videos

From chronic illness to passion and purpose to mental health and advocacy – you’ll find me talking (& probably oversharing) about it all on camera here over on my YouTube channel! I would love to have you come join me!

Educate & Support

Trying to navigate life, overcome obstacles & step into what you feel called to is hard. That’s why I created various types of resources and tools that I wish I’d had so that you can have them now! Check them out here!

Advocacy

One way I try to put my voice to good use is by advocating for societal & legislative change on issues I’m passionate about. Follow me on the gram here to stay up to date on how you can support  get involved!

Film YouTube Videos

From chronic illness to passion and purpose to mental health and advocacy – you’ll find me talking (& probably oversharing) about it all on camera here over on my YouTube channel! I would love to have you come join me!

Speak & Teach

From panels and conferences to seminars and classes – if there is talking involved, I’m always down! If you are interested in attending or collaborating on an event together, check out my public speaking page here.

Educate & Support

Trying to navigate life, overcome obstacles & step into what you feel called to is hard. That’s why I created various types of resources and tools that I wish I’d had so that you can have them now! Check them out here!

Advocacy

One way I try to put my voice to good use is by advocating for societal & legislative change on issues I’m passionate about. Follow me on the gram here to stay up to date on how you can support  get involved!

Create Products

From clothing to journals, games, and accessories, everything you find in the shop has been intentionally created — to bring you a product that truly empowers & supports you on your journey! You can shop them here!

Street Interviews

This project is called ‘Someone Needs To Hear Your Story,’ and I started it because I wanted to create a platform where I could pass the mic to others, allowing them to own and share their stories. Check out the videos here!

Events & Groups

Something I am so excited about is the free support groups and fun events I get to put on & host so that you can have a place to go and people to walk beside on your chronic illness AND/OR purpose journey. Come join us here!

Create Products

From clothing to journals, games, and accessories, everything you find in the shop has been intentionally created — to bring you a product that truly empowers & supports you on your journey! You can shop them here!

Street Interviews

This project is called ‘Someone Needs To Hear Your Story,’ and I started it because I wanted to create a platform where I could pass the mic to others, allowing them to own and share their stories. Check out the videos here!

the most important thing i try to do here though is Love & support you on your journey!

My commitment to you is to bring you the very best of what I’m living and learning, while keeping it real and honest as I go, and doing my best to help support you on your journey – whatever that may be.

If you’ve read this far, I just want to say – thank you. I hope this is just the beginning of our friendship! I’d love to learn more about you though! The best way for us to connect is through Instagram by following along @itshaleyjames_ and if you want – send me a DM and introduce yourself!! I love meeting new people and would love to follow along on your journey too!

I can’t wait to connect and get to know you, your story, and your heart.

Thanks so much for being here!

I love you, I mean it ♡

the most important thing i try to do here though is Love & support you on your journey!

My commitment to you is to bring you the very best of what I’m living and learning, while keeping it real and honest as I go, and doing my best to help support you on your journey – whatever that may be.

If you’ve read this far, I just want to say – thank you. I hope this is just the beginning of our friendship! I’d love to learn more about you though! The best way for us to connect is through Instagram by following along @itshaleyjames_ and if you want – send me a DM and introduce yourself!! I love meeting new people and would love to follow along on your journey too!

I can’t wait to connect and get to know you, your story, and your heart.

Thanks so much for being here!

I love you, I mean it ♡

Want to be friends?!

Let's Connect on the gram!

@itshaleyjames_

Let's Be friends On The Gram!

@itshaleyjames_

let's get more connected!

Let's Get More Connected!

The Healing Haven
Instagram Broadcast Channel

The Bloom - My Personal
E-mailed Letter To You

Passion, Purpose + Positive Impact Instagram Broadcast Channel

Featured In

THESE EMAILS I SEND – I PROMISE – FEEL LIKE LETTERS FROM A FRIEND

Come Be Part Of The Bloom!

What is The Bloom? The Bloom is my personal letter to you, dedicated to supporting your growth and flourishing in all aspects of life – from your health, well-being and entrepreneurial pursuits to overcoming obstacles, discovering passions, stepping into purpose and finding avenues for positive impact – The Bloom is all about helping you create a life you truly love – whatever that looks like for you!

I like to think of The Bloom newsletter as the water, soil, or sunlight I hope to be able to give you to help you grow and bloom in your own life! That’s why as a member of The Bloom community, you’ll get heartfelt personal letters from me sharing stories, resources, tools, inspiration and support to help you on your personal growth journey.

The Bloom is here to meet you in all seasons of life – whether you’re feeling buried in the dirt eager to sprout or standing 10 ft tall aspiring to reach even greater heights, or somewhere in between, the bloom is here to empower, equip and support you on your journey to getting you to where you want to be. I hope you’ll come grow with us!
THESE EMAILS I SEND – I PROMISE – FEEL LIKE LETTERS FROM A FRIEND

Come Be Part Of The Bloom!

What is The Bloom? The Bloom is my personal letter to you, dedicated to supporting your growth and flourishing in all aspects of life – from your health, well-being and entrepreneurial pursuits to overcoming obstacles, discovering passions, stepping into purpose and finding avenues for positive impact – The Bloom is all about helping you create a life you truly love – whatever that looks like for you!

I like to think of The Bloom newsletter as the water, soil, or sunlight I hope to be able to give you to help you grow and bloom in your own life! That’s why as a member of The Bloom community, you’ll get heartfelt personal letters from me sharing stories, resources, tools, inspiration and support to help you on your personal growth journey.

The Bloom is here to meet you in all seasons of life – whether you’re feeling buried in the dirt eager to sprout or standing 10 ft tall aspiring to reach even greater heights, or somewhere in between, the bloom is here to empower, equip and support you on your journey to getting you to where you want to be. I hope you’ll come grow with us!

THESE EMAILS I SEND – I PROMISE – FEEL LIKE LETTERS FROM A FRIEND

Come Be Part Of The Bloom!

I love connecting with people in this community! It’s my favorite thing that I get to do and this is one of the places I love to do it!

I only ever want to send you things I truly believe in my heart will serve you, support you, equip you, empower you and make you feel seen, heard & loved! Which to me means 0% spam & 100% all good things!

As a welcome gift, you’ll instantly unlock a 10% discount on your first store purchase, gain immediate access to my most popular free guide and of course friendship with me and this community! We can’t wait to have you!

THESE EMAILS I SEND – I PROMISE – FEEL LIKE LETTERS FROM A FRIEND

Come Be Part Of The Bloom!

I love connecting with people in this community! It’s my favorite thing that I get to do and this is one of the places I love to do it!

I only ever want to send you things I truly believe in my heart will serve you, support you, equip you, empower you and make you feel seen, heard & loved! Which to me means 0% spam & 100% all good things!

As a welcome gift, you’ll instantly unlock a 10% discount on your first store purchase, gain immediate access to my most popular free guide and of course friendship with me and this community! We can’t wait to have you!

THESE EMAILS I SEND – I PROMISE – FEEL LIKE LETTERS FROM A FRIEND

Come Be Part Of
The Bloom!

I love connecting with people in this community! It’s my favorite thing that I get to do and this is one of the places I love to do it!

I only ever want to send you things I truly believe in my heart will serve you, support you, equip you, empower you and make you feel seen, heard & loved! Which to me means 0% spam & 100% all good things!

As a welcome gift, you’ll instantly unlock a 10% discount on your first store purchase, gain immediate access to my most popular free guide and of course friendship with me and this community! We can’t wait to have you!

YAY! I'm So excited to have you joining this community!

As promised here is your first welcome gift! Just click below and it’ll automatically download!

Also, be sure to check your email to make sure you received my welcome email that has your 10% off discount code so you can get another gift for yourself because you deserve it!

YAY! I'm So excited to have you joining this community!

As promised here is your first welcome gift! Just click below and it’ll automatically download!

Also, be sure to check your email to make sure you received my welcome email that has your 10% off discount code so you can get another gift for yourself because you deserve it!

YAY! I'm So excited to have you joining this community!

As promised here is your first welcome gift! Just click below and it’ll automatically download!

Also, be sure to check your email to make sure you received my welcome email that has your 10% off discount code so you can get another gift for yourself because you deserve it!